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Canadian Stocks Fall, Led by Commodity Producers, as Oil Drops

Canadian stocks fell, led by miners and energy producers, as gold retreated from a four-month high and crude oil declined for a fifth straight day.

Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s largest bullion producer, led materials companies to the biggest drop among 10 industry groups. Suncor Energy Inc., Canada’s largest oil company, slid 1 percent even as crude pared its decline.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index fell 47.14 points, or 0.4 percent, to 12,101.52 as of 4:10 p.m. in Toronto, leaving it down 0.7 percent from an 18-month high on April 5.

“Commodity markets had gotten a little ahead of themselves,” said Bob Decker, a money manager at Aurion Capital in Toronto, which manages C$4.2 billion. Equities “are in profit-taking mode in advance of quarterly earnings reports. The more cyclical sectors, without stronger commodity prices, they have a higher potential to sell off sharply.”

Aluminum producer Alcoa Inc., the first company in the Dow Jones Industrial Average to report first-quarter results, fell the most in that index after posting lower-than-forecast sales. Corus Entertainment Inc. is scheduled to report results tomorrow, the first company in the S&P/TSX to do so.

Barrick Gold fell 1.2 percent to C$40.41. Gold for June delivery retreated 0.8 percent to $1,152.60 an ounce on the Comex in New York.

Non-OPEC Forecast

Suncor fell 1 percent to C$34.82. Crude for May delivery fell 0.4 percent to $84.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after falling as much as 2.2 percent earlier. The International Energy Agency boosted its forecast for non-OPEC oil supplies.

Countries outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will raise output by 600,000 barrels a day this year to average 52 million barrels a day, the IEA said in its monthly market report today.

Weekly U.S. Energy Department data to be released tomorrow is forecast to show crude supplies increased by 1.3 million barrels last week, according the median of 17 estimates in the Bloomberg News survey. Energy companies make up 26 percent of Canadian stocks.

Equinox Minerals Ltd. fell 3.4 percent to C$4.22. The owner of the Lumwana copper mine in Zambia was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” at UBS AG.

Demand Concerns

UBS also downgraded Lundin Mining Corp. and Inmet Mining Corp. to “neutral” from “buy.” Brian MacArthur, the analyst, said copper prices “could be challenged by an anticipated seasonal slowdown in demand and the start of monetary tightening.” Lundin fell 3.2 percent to C$5.38, while Inmet dropped 0.2 percent to C$59.04.

Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd. fell 3.2 percent to $54.25. The oil and natural-gas producer announced an early conversion period for holders of $149.3 million principal amount of debt convertible to equity. Conversion of all the debt would result in the issuance of 3.9 million common shares, Petrobank said.

Dollarama Inc. fell 2.6 percent to C$24.54. Canada’s biggest chain of dollar stores said three of its shareholders will sell at least 10.1 million shares for C$24.60 a share through a secondary public offering.

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