Shares in several major Canadian forestry companies closed down Wednesday after an analyst downgrade and lower-than-expected building permits for the crucial US housing sector. CIBC analyst Hamir Patel said that the bank has reduced its outlook on the industry, including downgrades on Interfor , Resolute, and West Fraser, as concerns mount about US housing. “With more warnings signs flashing in the US housing market … we are now moving to the sidelines on all commodity wood product stock,” wrote Mr. Patel. Canfor closed down 6 per cent, Resolute ended down 4.5 per cent, Interfor down 4 per cent, and West Fraser down 3.9 per cent. The shift came as the U.S. Commerce Department said Wednesday that applications for building permits, seen as a reliable indicator of future activity, fell by 5.7 per cent in August after a 0.9-per-cent rise in July.
By Ian Bickis