Canadian Stocks Cap Worst Month Since September on Growth Fears

  • The S&P/TSX dropped as much as 10 percent in August trading
  • Energy shares in the index slid for a fourth straight month

Canadian stocks slipped, capping the worst month of trading in nearly a year as concern that global growth will slow sank equities around the world.

The benchmark Canadian equities index fell 4.2 percent in August, sucked lower in the downdraft created by China’s shock devaluation of its currency on Aug. 11. Equities tumbled as concerns mount that China’s policy makers won’t be able to prop up its markets at the same time Federal Reserve officials signaled they’re preparing to raise interest rates.

Canadian stocks lost as much as 10 percent in a 19-day drop this month before jumping 6.2 percent in four days last week. The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index slid less than 0.1 percent to 13,859.12 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The gauge almost erased a slide of 1.5 percent as energy shares rallied with the price of crude. Volume in S&P/TSX stocks was 27 percent above the 30-day average.

All of the 10 main industries in the S&P/TSX declined in August, led by an 8.9 percent rout in health-care shares, the most in four years. The group declined 2.1 percent Monday, led by a 2.3 percent slump in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. slid 2.1 percent.

The resource-rich S&P/TSX has been one of the worst-performing developed markets in the world this year amid the collapse in crude prices, though energy shares rallied 2.6 percent Monday to pare a monthly drop to 3.3 percent.

Paramount Resources Ltd., Canadian Energy Services & Technology Corp. and Pengrowth Energy Corp. surged more than 12 percent, as oil capped the biggest three-day gain in 25 years.

A volatility gauge for 60 of the largest, most liquid stocks in Canada jumped 5.8 percent to 24.47. The measure added 78 percent in August, its biggest monthly climb in data back to 2009.

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