Canadian stocks fell for the eighth time in nine days after oil producers and banks declined as Greece struggled to form a government amid growing speculation the nation may leave the euro region.
Suncor Energy Inc. (SU), Canada’s largest oil and gas producer, decreased 2.6 percent. Bankers Petroleum Ltd. plunged 34 percent after earnings missed analysts’ projections. Royal Bank of Canada, the nation’s biggest lender, slipped 1.4 percent. Goldcorp Inc. (G), the second-largest producer of the metal, slipped 3.7 percent.
The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index (SPTSX) fell 206.14 points, or 1.8 percent, to 11,488.53, extending its retreat since May 1 to 6.9 percent.
“The Canadian market is so resource-driven that any time you have global growth uncertainty it seems to knock down commodity prices,” Jennifer Radman, a money manager at Caldwell Investment Management Ltd. in Toronto, said in a telephone interview. The firm oversees about C$1 billion ($1 billion). “Any news that shakes up peoples’ beliefs at the current moment can have a pretty big impact on our market.”
The benchmark gauge on May 11 completed a second straight weekly decline as concerns mounted that the Greek debt crisis and a weakening Chinese economy may curb demand for commodities. Energy and mining shares account for 43 percent of Canadian stocks by market value.
Energy companies declined as oil fell to its lowest price in almost five months after Greece failed to agree on a unity government and European officials considered its possible exit from the euro. Saudi Arabia Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said that crude prices should decline further.
Suncor Energy decreased 2.6 percent to C$27.99. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNQ) dropped 2.4 percent to C$30.25. Oil-sands producer Cenovus Energy Inc. (CVE) sank 2.6 percent to C$32.10. Bankers Petroleum slumped 34 percent to C$2.29.
Banks in the S&P/TSX fell to the lowest on a closing basis since January on concern over Greece.
Sumit Malhotra, an analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd., cut his 2012 and 2013 earnings per share estimates for Canadian banks by 1 percent today before second-quarter earnings reports are scheduled to start on May 23. He cited “macro headwinds” and slowing consumer loan growth.
Royal Bank of Canada (RY) slipped 1.4 percent to C$53.22. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD), Canada’s second-largest lender, decreased 0.7 percent to C$79.93. Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS), the country’s third-largest lender, fell 1 percent to C$52.50.
Materials shares dropped as gold erased its gains for the year as concern that Europe’s debt crisis is deepening strengthened the dollar and cut the metal’s appeal as an alternative asset.
Goldcorp slipped 3.7 percent to C$33.62. Eldorado Gold Corp. (ELD), a Vancouver-based mining company, sank 4.9 percent to C$10.93.
Potash producers declined as soybeans fell to the lowest in more than six weeks on speculation that Europe’s worsening debt crisis and slowing Chinese economy will curb demand for food, feed and fuel made from the oilseed.
Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., the biggest fertilizer company, dropped 1.8 percent to C$40.28. Agrium Inc. (AGU), a fertilizer producer and farm retailer, decreased 3 percent to C$81.05.
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