Canadian Stocks Decline as IMF Trims Forecast for U.S. Growth

Canadian stocks fell the most in a month, led by energy producers, after the International Monetary Fund cut its growth forecast for the U.S. and oil and metals prices dropped.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNQ), the country’s second- largest energy company by market value, lost 3.6 percent as crude retreated from a 30-month high. Kinross Gold Corp. (K), Canada’s third-biggest gold producer, decreased 3.3 percent as the metal dropped for the first time in six days. First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM), the country’s second-largest publicly traded copper producer, slumped 3.7 percent as that metal fell.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index lost 211.57 points, or 1.5 percent, the most since March 10, to 13,996.86.

“Oil is at a pretty high price given the global growth outlook,” said Murray Leith, who helps manage about C$6.5 billion ($6.8 billion) as a money manager at Odlum Brown Ltd. in Vancouver. “You’ve got to expect pullback. There’s fiscal drag now around the world as new stimulus just fades away.”

Coming into this week, the S&P/TSX had gained four straight weeks, the longest streak since October. Over that time, oil surged 12 percent while gold stocks rallied 7.4 percent as the conflict in Libya intensified and the U.S. dollar dropped to a 16-month low against a basket of world currencies.

Higher oil prices will limit U.S. economic growth to 2.8 percent this year, the IMF said in a report today. The organization had earlier forecast 3 percent growth.

Crude declined 2.5 percent in New York, the most since March 15. The S&P/TSX Energy Index tumbled 2.3 percent, the most in eight months.

Suncor Energy Inc. (SU), Canada’s largest oil and gas producer, lost 2.6 percent to C$43.51. Canadian Natural decreased 3.6 percent to C$45.56. Encana Corp. (ECA), the country’s biggest natural gas producer, slumped 3.3 percent to C$31.85.

Cease-Fire

Gold fell from a record after the African Union said Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi agreed to a cease-fire. All 33 gold companies in the S&P/TSX declined.

Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX), the world’s largest producer of the metal, dropped 2.7 percent to C$50.66. Kinross slipped 3.3 percent to C$15.37. Goldcorp Inc. (G), the world’s second-biggest gold-mining company by market value, lost 2.1 percent to C$51.06.

Silver Wheaton

Silver reseller Silver Wheaton Corp. (SLW) decreased 6.1 percent to C$42.18 as that metal retreated in electronic trading after the close of floor trading in New York. First Majestic Silver Corp. (FR), which mines in Mexico, sank 8.1 percent to C$21.64.

Copper dropped for the first time in a week on concern China might raise interest rates. The country, the world’s largest consumer of industrial metals, reported faster growth in exports and imports than most economists had forecast.

First Quantum declined 3.7 percent to C$131.67. Teck Resources Ltd. (TCK/B), Canada’s largest base-metals and coal producer, lost 2 percent to C$53.83. Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., which is developing a copper and gold mine in Mongolia with Rio Tinto Group, decreased 2.2 percent to C$26.38.

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., the world’s largest fertilizer producer by market value, retreated 1.6 percent to C$54.72 after the Fertiliser Association of India said that country does not need to import potash for the monsoon season. The shares have fallen for five-straight days.

Lumber producer TimberWest Forest Corp. (TWF-U) soared a record 19 percent to C$6.46 after agreeing to be bought by British Columbia Investment Management Corp. and the federal Public Sector Pension Investment Board. The funds will pay C$6.48 in cash for each so-called stapled unit.

Westport Innovations Inc. (WPT), which makes natural-gas engines, plunged 13 percent to C$22.45 after Ann Duignan, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co., began coverage of the company with a “neutral” rating. The shares had jumped 21 percent this month through April 8 on speculation the U.S. government will provide incentives for vehicles fueled by natural gas.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matt Walcoff in Toronto at mwalcoff1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Baker at nbaker7@bloomberg.net

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