Canada Stocks Fall as Athabasca Slumps to Lead Oil Drop

Canadian stocks fell, after closing last week at a record, as a decline in oil producers overshadowed rising metal prices before U.S. economic data that may signal slowing growth.

Athabasca Oil Corp. sank 6.8 percent as the oil sands producer said it is still working to close an asset sale with PetroChina Co. BlackBerry Ltd. lost 3.3 percent after Chief Executive Officer John Chen said he doesn’t have any acquisition offers on his desk as he works to turn around the company. Teck Resources Ltd. and First Quantum Minerals Ltd. added at least 1.7 percent as base metals prices advanced on industrial data showing improved demand outlook in China.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index fell 9.82 points, or 0.1 percent, to 15,445.22 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The index closed at a record on July 25. The equity index trades at 21 times earnings, the highest level since 2010.

More than 70 companies in the S&P/TSX are scheduled to report earnings this week.

The U.S. Federal Reserve will announce its next policy decision on July 30 and investors will get a reading on second-quarter growth the same day. The U.S. is Canada’s largest trading partner.

Athabasca Oil

Athabasca Oil dropped 6.8 percent to C$6.41 to pace declines as oil producers retreated 0.6 percent as a group. Five of 10 industries in the benchmark Canadian equity gauge fell on trading volume 7.3 percent lower than the 30-day average at this time of the day.

Athabasca has plunged 27 percent from a February high as the company works through a C$1.32 billion transaction with China’s state-owned PetroChina. The Calgary-based company is depending on the payment from PetroChina to fund drilling in its other projects.

NuVista Energy Ltd. lost 3.8 percent to C$10.70 and Bonavista Energy Corp. fell 2.4 percent to C$14.13 as crude in New York slipped for the fourth time in five days. Crude slid last week after government data showed gasoline stockpiles rose to a four-month high as demand declined.

Gold Producers

OceanaGold Corp. gained 4 percent to C$3.65 and Alamos Gold Inc. rose 2.7 percent to C$10.37 as gold futures advanced a second day, settling at $1,305.80 in New York.

Laurentian Bank of Canada jumped 1.5 percent to C$51.59 as the S&P/TSX Financials Index increased 0.2 percent for a fifth day of gains. The gauge has climbed 1.2 percent in that time.

BlackBerry retreated 3.3 percent to C$10.75 for a second day of losses. Chen is focused on turning the ailing business around independently and gave its chances of success as “better than 80/20” in a Bloomberg Television interview. The company’s stock has rallied 39 percent this year.

Teck Resources added 1.7 percent to C$25.79 and First Quantum Minerals increased 2.2 percent to C$26.77 as lead touched a 17-month high in London while aluminum advanced to extend a fourth weekly gain.

Profit at industrial companies in China rose 17.9 percent from a year earlier in June, more than double the previous month’s 8.9 percent increase, a sign growth is picking up in the country.

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