Canadian Stocks Erase Gains to Retreat Fourth Day as Oil Slumps

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  • Energy, utility stocks lead retreat, as oil falls to near $27
  • Technology stocks climb as Open Text tops analysts' estimates

Canadian stocks slipped for a fourth day, as financial shares declined and losses of energy shares widened amid plunging oil prices.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index tumbled 0.8 percent to 12,185.72 at 4 p.m. in Toronto, after earlier climbing as much as 0.9 percent. The decline pushed the benchmark equity gauge to the lowest level in more than two weeks. Six of 10 main industry groups slipped.

The rally that faded in Canadian equities Wednesday mirrored a similar move in U.S. stocks. Speculation that the Federal Reserve will hold off on raising interest rates gave way to renewed concerns about the strength of the American economy. The resource-heavy S&P/TSX, which entered a bear market last month, has been influenced by volatility in crude and commodity prices.

Financial companies contributed the most to the slump in the S&P/TSX today amid deepening concern about the health of the global economy. Bank of Nova Scotia lost 2.8 percent, while Royal Bank of Canada slid 2.1 percent.

Energy companies also retreated as oil prices dropped to $27.45 a barrel. Cenovus Energy Inc. and Encana Corp. retreated at least 8.4 percent.

Utility shares fell, with Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. leading declines. The company announced yesterday it will buy Empire District Electric Co. for $2.4 billion.

Technology companies gained the most as a group today. Open Text Corp. increased 10 percent after the company posted quarterly earnings that topped analysts’ estimates. DH Corp. and Celestica Inc. also rose, gaining more than 2.6 percent.