Canada Stocks Fall on Concern About Greece’s Debt Crisis

Canadian stocks fell the most this year as the U.S. dollar gained and fuels and metals dropped on concern a second bailout of Greece won’t stop the country from defaulting or the global economy from slowing.

Suncor Energy Inc., Canada’s largest oil and gas producer, declined 4.3 percent as crude futures retreated. First Quantum Resources Ltd., the country’s second-largest publicly traded copper producer, plunged 6.2 percent as the metal lost the most in 12 weeks. Toronto-Dominion Bank, the country’s second-biggest lender by assets, decreased 1.6 percent as financial companies dropped.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index fell 225.32 points, or 1.8 percent, to 12,298.63 after company reports showed the investors that have committed to Greece’s debt swap represent about 20 percent of privately held Greek bonds. The country has set a 75 percent participation rate as a threshold for proceeding with the transaction, which runs through March 8.

“As the markets rallied for 10 weeks, we’ve had lots of snippets of less-than-expected numbers, and the markets have gone up in the face of it,” Jeff Burchell, a money manager at Aston Hill Financial Inc. in Toronto, said in a telephone interview. The firm oversees about C$5.5 billion ($5.5 billion). “If you look behind it, it seems like an excuse to take some profits.”

After its biggest two-month gain to start a year since 2004, the index has decreased 3.3 percent to a seven-week low over the past three days. Raw-materials and energy companies retreated after Germany reported a decline in retail sales and China reduced its annual economic-growth goal. The S&P/TSX hadn’t slipped three days in a row since Dec. 15.

European Contraction

The U.S. dollar increased against 15 of 16 other major currencies today. The currency extended its advance after the European Union’s statistics office said its economy contracted 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter, confirming an earlier estimate.

The S&P/TSX Energy Index decreased the most since Nov. 23 as crude oil fell to a two-week low on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Suncor dropped 4.3 percent to C$33.32. Cenovus Energy Inc., Canada’s fifth-biggest company in the industry by revenue, lost 4.3 percent to C$35.84.

Crew Energy Inc., a western Canadian oil and gas producer, fell 8.3 percent to C$11.45 after recording a C$181.9 million writedown due mostly to the impact of lower natural gas prices on asset values.

Precious Metals

Gold stocks in the S&P/TSX extended their three-day slump to 5 percent as the metal dropped to the lowest since Jan. 24. Goldcorp Inc., the world’s second-largest producer of the metal, lost 1.6 percent to C$46.89. Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s biggest company in the industry, decreased 1.4 percent to C$45.72. Colossus Minerals Inc., which is developing a gold project in Brazil, tumbled 12 percent, the most since February 2009, to C$5.75.

Base-metals and coal producers retreated, extending a 2012 low. Teck Resources Ltd., Canada’s largest company in the industry, fell 2.3 percent to C$35.48. Lundin Mining Corp., which operates in Europe, slumped 6.6 percent to C$4.51.

First Quantum tumbled 6.2 percent to C$20.60 after dropping 5.4 percent yesterday. The company, which is facing a strike at its Kansanshi mine in Zambia, is to report quarterly financial results today.

Major Drilling Group International Inc., which provides services to mining companies, sank 5.1 percent to C$17.26 after its quarterly earnings trailed the average estimate of analysts in a Bloomberg survey by 16 percent, excluding certain items.

Ample Supplies

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., the world’s largest fertilizer producer by market value, retreated 3.2 percent to C$43.28 as corn futures declined after settling at the highest since September yesterday. China won’t need large imports of corn this year as it has ample supplies, Nie Zhenbang, the head of the country’s grain administration, told reporters in Beijing today.

The six largest S&P/TSX banks and all eight insurers fell. TD dropped 1.6 percent to C$80.55. Royal Bank of Canada, its bigger domestic rival, lost 1.1 percent to C$56.15. Manulife Financial Corp., North America’s third-largest insurer, retreated 4.1 percent to C$11.81.

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., the country’s second-largest railroad, declined 3.4 percent to C$72.25. North American railroads slipped after Consol Energy Inc., the third-largest U.S. coal producer, said it will cut output at its Buchanan mine in Virginia due to lower demand from foreign steelmakers.

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