Canadian Stocks Have First Weekly Drop in 2012 on Greek Concern
Canadian stocks fell, completing the first weekly decline this year, as oil and metals slumped on concern that plans to help Greece avoid default were unraveling.
Suncor Energy Inc. (SU), Canada’s largest oil and gas producer, fell 2.1 percent as oil dropped from a three-week high. Teck Resources Ltd. (TCK/B), Canada’s largest base-metals and coal company, sank 1.4 percent and Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX), the world’s largest gold producer, lost 1.3 percent as the U.S. dollar strengthened, curbing demand for commodities. Manulife Financial Corp. (MFC), the country’s biggest insurer, fell 1.1 percent after an analyst recommended selling the shares.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index lost 108.52 points, or 0.9 percent, to 12,389.42 in Toronto, for its first weekly decline since Dec. 16 with a loss of 1.5 percent.
“The fear of the market is that this is the first time you’ve heard something about a strong pushback from the Greek side,” Marcus Xu, director of equity investments at Genus Capital Management in Vancouver, said in a telephone interview. The firm oversees about C$1.7 billion ($1.7 billion). “The market seems to worry that this could be the start of a whole bunch of negative news coming out.’
Canadian raw materials and energy companies fell earlier this week as China said industrial production growth is likely to slow this quarter and the U.S reported a bigger-than-forecast increase in gasoline supplies. The index had capped its longest streak of weekly gains since April 2009 on Feb. 3, as falling U.S. unemployment signaled Canada’s biggest trade partner was weathering the European debt crisis.
Global equities fell today as emergency talks of euro-area finance chiefs broke up with Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean- Claude Juncker saying Greece must turn its budget cuts into law, flesh out 325 million euros in spending reductions and get the endorsement of major party leaders. George Karatzaferis, the leader of one of the three parties backing interim Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, said he wouldn’t support austerity measures.
Mining companies fell as gold and copper retreated. Copper shipments to China fell for the first time in eight months in January, while inventories monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange advanced to a record after rising for a ninth straight week.
First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM), Canada’s second-largest publicly traded copper producer, declined 2.5 percent to C$21.28. Romarco Minerals Inc. (R), which is developing a gold project in South Carolina, lost 2.6 percent to C$1.14. Barrick fell 1.3 percent to C$48.25. Teck Resources fell 1.4 percent to C$40.24.
Energy companies sank for a fifth day, the longest losing streak since Nov. 25, as oil dropped from a three-week high on concern that the European debt crisis will reduce fuel demand.
Suncor lost 2.1 percent to C$33.87. Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd., the majority owner of PetroBakken Energy Ltd., fell 3.5 percent to C$14.74. Canadian Oil Sands Ltd., the largest partner in Syncrude Canada Ltd., dropped 2.7 percent to C$22.
Manulife lost 1.1 percent to C$11.75. Ohad Lederer, an analyst at Veritas Investment Research, cut the shares to ‘‘sell” from “buy.”
SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., Canada’s largest construction and engineering company, sank 5 percent to C$50.90 after the departure of two executives who were linked in a report in the Globe & Mail to the family of deposed Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi.
Fibrek Inc. surged 17 percent to C$1.32 after Mercer International Inc. agreed to purchase the pulp maker for C$1.30 in a board-supported takeover bid.
Thomson Reuters Corp. (TRI) fell 2.6 percent to C$26.66. The provider of news and information services was lowered to “buy” from “action list buy” by Vince Valentini, an equity analyst at TD Newcrest Inc., with a 12-month price target of C$33.
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