Canadian stocks fell for the first time in three days as commodity prices dropped when the U.S. dollar rebounded from its biggest decline since July.
Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s largest gold producer, declined 1.4 percent as the metal retreated in trading after the close of the Comex in New York. Teck Resources Ltd. lost 1.3 percent as copper slumped the most in two weeks. Canadian Oil Sands Trust, the largest owner of the Syncrude project in Alberta, climbed 5 percent as China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. agreed to buy ConocoPhillips’s 9 percent stake in the project.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index decreased 28.18 points, or 0.2 percent, to 12,148.66. The S&P/TSX had climbed early in the day after European leaders completed a bailout offer for Greece and the Sinopec investment was announced.
“That proves a lot of the good news was already priced in,” said Marcus Xu, director of equity investments at Genus Capital Management in Vancouver, which manages about C$1.6 billion ($1.6 billion). “There’s still lots of difficulties to overcome to make sure the economy comes out of the recession full steam ahead.”
The benchmark index has rallied 9.3 percent since Feb. 8 as the Reuters/Jefferies CRB Commodity Price Index rose 5.6 percent on speculation that an end to the recession will lead to a recovery in demand for energy raw materials. Commodity companies make up 46 percent of Canadian stocks by market value.
Gold slipped 0.5 percent to $1,156.10 an ounce after the U.S. dollar rebounded from its 1.3 percent tumble against a basket of world currencies, ending the day down 0.7 percent. S&P/TSX gold stocks slumped the most this month.
Barrick slipped 1.4 percent to C$40.90. Goldcorp Inc., Canada’s second largest producer of the metal, fell 0.5 percent to C$40.18. Centerra Gold Inc., which operates in Kyrgyzstan, declined 2.4 percent to C$11.15 after the country’s ousted president warned of bloodshed if the interim government tries to arrest him.
Teck lost 1.3 percent to C$45.44 as copper dropped from a 20-month high. Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. decreased 1 percent to C$114.46.
Crude oil retreated for a fourth day, slumping 0.7 percent to $84.32 a barrel, on skepticism that demand is strong enough to support prices above $85 a barrel.
Suncor Energy Inc., Canada’s largest oil and gas company, slipped 0.8 percent to C$35.18. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., the country’s second-largest energy producer by market value, fell 0.7 percent to C$78.69.
Oil Sands Shares
Canadian Oil Sands, which owns 37 percent of the Syncrude project, increased 5 percent to C$32.22, after ConocoPhillips said it agreed to sell its stake. Cenovus Energy Inc. and UTS Energy Corp., which have their own oil sands assets, advanced 1.5 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively.
Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., owner of the Circle K and Mac’s chains, rallied 3.9 percent to C$19.63. Analyst Derek Dley of Genuity Capital Markets initiated coverage of the Laval, Quebec-based company with a “buy” rating, saying Couche-Tard depends less than its peers on fuel sales and more on higher-margin merchandise sales.
World Point Terminals Inc. soared 13 percent, the most in nine months, to C$19.25 after an entity controlled by the family of Chairman Tony Novelly offered $19.90 a share for the oil tank-storage company.