Canadian stocks fell for a second day as Research In Motion Ltd. dropped after an analyst downgrade and oil and copper producers declined on concern slowing economic growth will curb demand.
RIM lost 5.1 percent after Piper Jaffray Co. analyst T. Michael Walkley cut his price estimate on the BlackBerry smartphone maker. Suncor Energy Inc., the country’s largest oil and gas company, decreased 2.1 percent as the U.S. dollar advanced to a four-year high against the euro. Barrick Gold Corp., the largest producer of the metal, rallied 4.3 percent after bullion futures rose to a three-week high as risk-wary investors sought an alternative to holding euros.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index fell 64.87 points, or 0.6 percent, to a two-week low of 11,504.74. The Canadian benchmark has slipped 2.1 percent this year as concern that the European debt crisis and slowing growth in China would curb commodity demand offset the impact of higher-than-estimated corporate earnings.
“The whole European situation is disconcerting to investors because it has the risk of creating another credit crunch, but at the sovereign level,” said Sebastian van Berkom, who helps manage C$1.1 billion ($1.05 billion) at Van Berkom and Associates in Montreal. “There’s so much uncertainty on the horizon, I’m not surprised we’re in a volatile market.”
The S&P/TSX slumped 2.1 percent June 4 after the U.S. reported fewer new private sector jobs than most economists expected.
Most commodities in the Reuters/Jefferies CRB Commodity Price Index fell as the U.S. Dollar Index rose for a seventh day, the longest streak since September 2008.
The euro has fallen 2.7 percent against the U.S. dollar since June 2 on concern the European debt crisis may be spreading to more countries, especially Hungary. The 16-nation currency continued to drop today as European finance ministers indicated they weren’t uncomfortable with its level.
Crude oil slipped 5 cents to $71.46 a barrel after dropping the most in four months June 4. Suncor declined 2.1 percent to C$31.79. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Canada’s second-largest energy company by market value, lost 2.1 percent to C$35.78. Canadian Oil Sands Trust, the largest owner of the Syncrude project, decreased 2.4 percent to C$27.07.
Producers of raw materials used in industry dropped as copper declined for a sixth day. Teck Resources Inc., Canada’s largest base-metals producer, retreated 5 percent to C$31.14. First Quantum Minerals Ltd., the country’s second-biggest publicly traded copper producer, slumped 5.6 percent to a 10-month low of C$51.41. Western Coal Corp. led the S&P/TSX with a 9.1 percent plunge to C$4.38.
Gold futures increased 2.1 percent to $1,242.70 an ounce. Barrick climbed 4.3 percent to C$45.81. Goldcorp Inc., Canada’s second-largest producer of the metal, rose 4.7 percent to C$46.87. Fronteer Gold Inc. surged 8.2 percent to a two-year high of C$6.71 after reporting drilling results from its Sandman project in Nevada.
Walkley cut his 12-month price estimate on RIM’s U.S. shares to $66 from $77 to reflect lower share prices per dollar of profit for other companies in its industry. RIM should trade in line with its peers, Walkley told clients in a note. Canada’s largest technology company fell 5.1 percent to a 14-month low of C$60.04.
Royal Bank of Canada dropped 2 percent to C$52.48. The country’s biggest bank has declined 12 percent since May 26, the day before it reported second-quarter earnings that missed the average analyst estimate.