Canadian stocks fell as energy prices declined on forecasts that a tropical storm may not affect oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico.
EnCana Corp., Canada’s largest natural gas producer, dropped 2.7 percent as the fuel retreated. Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., the world’s largest fertilizer producer, lost 3.3 percent on declining agricultural-commodity prices. Teck Resources Ltd., the country’s biggest base-metals producer, fell 3.8 percent as a stronger U.S. dollar weakened copper prices.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index lost 100.85 points, or 0.9 percent, to a two-week low of 11,607. The index has slipped 3.6 percent this quarter, less than all but five of 23 other developed markets’ primary indexes, as natural gas surged 22 percent. The fuel slumped 3 percent today, while oil futures declined 0.8 percent, as forecasts showed Tropical Storm Alex heading to the Mexico coast rather than energy producing areas of the Gulf.
“If there was a potential threat to or disruption to supply because of a hurricane, the price of natural gas may move up, and natural gas-sensitive stocks such as EnCana may move up,” said Robert McWhirter, who oversees C$140 million ($136 million) as a money manager at Selective Asset Management Inc. in Toronto.
Suncor Energy Inc., Canada’s largest oil and gas company, fell 0.8 percent to C$33. Talisman Energy Inc., which operates in North America, the North Sea and Indonesia, dropped 1.9 percent to C$16.92. EnCana declined 2.7 percent to C$33.12.
Potash Corp. retreated 3.3 percent to an eight-month low of C$95.02 as corn prices fell for a sixth day, the longest slump in three months. Weather forecasts called for dry conditions after parts of the U.S. Midwest got more than 9 inches (22 centimeters) of rain in the past two weeks.
Producers of metals used in industry fell as copper dropped from a four-week high. Teck decreased 3.8 percent to C$33.68. First Quantum Minerals Ltd., Canada’s second-largest copper producer, declined 3.8 percent to C$58.23. Lundin Mining Corp., which mines copper and zinc in Europe, lost 4.6 percent to C$3.31.
Empire Co., Canada’s second-largest grocer, rallied 3.3 percent to C$52.75 after releasing quarterly financial results June 25. Analyst Ken Chernin of Jennings Capital Inc. raised his 12-month price estimate on the stock to C$58 from C$56, while James Durran of National Bank of Canada increased his price estimate to C$61 from C$59.