Canada Stocks Fall Most in Nearly Two Weeks as Crude Oil Slides

  • Raw-materials shares halt 5-day gain as metals prices retreat
  • Paramount jumps to highest since November after asset sale

Canada stocks fell the most in almost two weeks as energy producers joined a decline in gold miners, erasing gains with oil after U.S. inventories dropped less than expected.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index fell 0.7 percent to 14,134.46 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The benchmark trails New Zealand as the world’s top-performing developed market in 2016, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, with a gain of 8.6 percent. Trading volume was 6 percent lower than the 30-day average.

Raw-materials producers tumbled 2.3 percent as a group, snapping a five-day rally to retreat from the highest level in almost two years. Gold slipped 0.4 percent in New York after climbing to the highest in two years Wednesday. Barrick Gold Corp. dropped 3.2 percent, the steepest in six weeks.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. and Suncor Energy Inc. retreated at least 1 percent as energy producers tumbled 1.3 percent. Crude fell 4.8 percent to the lowest level in almost two months as government data showed U.S. supplies declined by 2.2 million barrels last week, short of analysts’ expectations for a 2.5 million barrel drop.

Paramount Resources Ltd. jumped 8.5 percent to the highest level since November after agreeing to sell shale assets in Alberta’s Montney region to Seven Generations Energy Ltd. in a C$1.9 billion deal in cash and debt. Seven Generations added 7.1 percent to a record and a fourth day of gains.

Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. slipped 2.1 percent after agreeing to buy Zurich Insurance Co.’s South African and Botswana operations. Terms were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close by the end of the fourth quarter of 2016.

Canadian equities have swung between gains and losses since the Brexit vote two weeks ago as investors sought havens from the market volatility. Raw-materials producers remain the top-performing industry in Canada this year with a 57 percent increase, the best such performance for the group in at least 30 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Energy stocks have rallied 17 percent.

Health-care shares are down nearly 70 percent in 2016, the worst in the S&P/TSX, dragged lower Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.’s 78 percent plunge. Valeant advanced 2.7 percent Thursday for a second day of gains and a three-week high. Shares jumped Wednesday after Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. said in its quarterly earnings call it’s satisfied with its partnership with the drugmaker.

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