Canada Stocks Fall to 6-Month Low as Oil Slumps on China Concern

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Canadian stocks fell to the lowest since January, as oil prices slid amid a rout in Chinese equities raising concern that growth will slow in the world’s second-largest economy.

Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank fell at least 1.1 percent to lead lenders lower. WestJet Airlines Ltd. slumped 6.2 percent, the most in two years, after second-quarter load factor, a measure of capacity efficiency, declined. Encana Corp. lost 5.5 percent as crude traded near a three-month low.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index fell 212.43 points, or 1.5 percent, to 14,412.07 at 4 p.m. in Toronto, the lowest since Jan. 20. The benchmark Canadian equity gauge capped its second slide of at least 1.5 percent in the past two weeks.

All of the 10 industries in the gauge retreated on trading volume 3.5 percent higher than the 30-day average today. Royal Bank and Manulife Financial Corp. led financial services companies lower by 1.2 percent. The industry accounts for about a third of the S&P/TSX.

Canadian equities joined a selloff in U.S. and Asian equities. U.S. stocks tumbled to a four-month low after Federal Reserve minutes showed officials were concerned crises in China and Greece would damp domestic growth. The New York Stock Exchange suspended trading for 3 1/2 hours due to a computer malfunction as trading continued on other venues.

A rout in China’s stock markets threatened demand in the world’s largest buyer of commodities. China is Canada’s largest trading partner after the U.S.

Teck Resources Ltd. declined 6.3 percent, to an April 20009 low, as iron ore slumped 10 percent to the lowest level since at least 2009.

Suncor Energy Inc. lost 1.5 percent and Encana retreated 5.5 percent as energy producers slumped 1.7 percent as a group. Oil futures for August delivery slipped 1.3 percent to $51.65 a barrel in New York. U.S. crude stockpiles gained 384,000 barrels in the week ended July 3, according to a government report.

Enbridge Inc., with a market capitalization of C$50.3 billion, has overtaken Suncor at C$49.5 billion as the largest energy company in the S&P/TSX by that measure, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Investors are also watching developments in the Greek debt crisis, where Greece faces a Sunday deadline to reach a deal with the European Union as leaders talked openly about a Greek exit from the euro. Greece’s banks are almost out of cash and its economy is grinding to a halt.

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