Canadian stocks fell a fourth straight day as concern the Greek financial crisis is intensifying drove energy and financial shares lower, overshadowing optimism the U.S. Federal Reserve may be more inclined to boost stimulus measures.
Manulife Financial Corp. and Crescent Point Energy Corp. slumped more than 2.9 percent. Alacer Gold Corp. retreated 13 percent after sinking 9.1 percent in Australia. Suncor Energy Inc., Canada’s largest oil and gas producer, slipped 0.8 percent. Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. and Legacy Oil & Gas Inc. advanced at least 2.2 percent.
The S&P/TSX Composite fell 16.97 points, or 0.2 percent, to 11,326.08. The index, which had risen as much as 1.2 percent earlier today, has slumped 10 out of the past 11 days. It briefly erased losses today after minutes from their last meeting showed several Fed policy makers said a loss of momentum in growth or increased risks to their economic outlook could warrant additional action.
“Over the last few days the Greek situation has weighed on everything,” Anil Tahiliani, a money manager at McLean & Partners in Calgary, said in a telephone interview. The firm oversees about C$1 billion ($1 billion).
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi acknowledged that Greece could leave the euro area and signaled policy makers won’t compromise on their key principles to prevent an exit. Greeks will vote again on June 17 after talks on forming a government failed, Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis said.
The S&P/TSX is heading for its third straight weekly decline as concerns mount that the Greek debt crisis, European elections and a weakening Chinese economy may curb demand for commodities. Energy and raw-material companies account for 44 percent of Canadian stocks by market value, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Financial stocks in the S&P/TSX declined for a third straight day. Manulife, North America’s third-largest insurer, slumped 3.4 percent to C$11.25. Sun Life Financial Inc., Canada’s third-biggest insurance company, decreased 1.8 percent to C$21.94.
Energy companies fell. Oil slumped to the lowest level in more than six months as U.S. supplies grew to 2.13 million barrels last week, the most since 1990.
Crescent Point Energy, a western Canadian oil and gas producer, lost 2.9 percent to C$38.88. Suncor Energy slipped 0.8 percent to C$27.45.
Alacer Gold, which mines in Turkey, plunged 13 percent to C$4.96 a day after missing analyst estimates for earnings excluding some items and projecting higher costs.