CANADA STOCKS-TSX near 3-week low as oil slips on euro zone fear

Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:20am EDT
 
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* TSX down 95.89 points, or 0.84 percent, at 11,339.65
    * Energy stocks lead market lower as oil falls
    * Losses offset by gold miners, fertilizer producers

    By Allison Martell
    TORONTO, June 25 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell
on Monday, touching its lowest point in almost three weeks, led
by weaker energy stocks as oil dropped, with investors worried
about the euro zone debt crisis ahead of a European Union summit
later this week.
    Global equity and commodity markets dropped on investor
skepticism that a June 28-29 European summit would produce
substantive measures to tackle the debt crisis. 
  
    "These are indicators that are suggesting that the global
growth environment isn't extremely healthy. Europe remains a
very large cause for concern," said Marco Lettieri, economist at
National Bank Financial in Montreal.
    "As a result there's a high risk premium that continues to
be put on to the market."
    At about 10:35 a.m. (1435 GMT) The Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index was down 95.89 points, or 0.84
percent, at 11,339.65.
    The index at one point hit 11,312.13, its weakest level
since June 4.
    "It's just another day of being held hostage to headline
risk," said Bruce Latimer, a trader at Dundee Securities.
    The heavyweight energy group played the biggest role in
leading the market lower, dropping 2 percent. Financial issues
declined 1.2 percent.
    Royal Bank of Canada fell 1.8 percent to C$51.03,
while Suncor Energy fell 2 percent to C$27.69. The two
companies played the biggest role of any stocks in pulling the
TSX lower.
    Encana Corp was also among the major decliners,
losing 3.4 percent to hit C$19.68.
    In addition to weaker energy prices, a Reuters investigation
found that Encana plotted with Chesapeake Energy Corp to
suppress land prices in Michigan. In response to questions from
Reuters on the matter, Encana said it was undertaking an
internal investigation. 
    The only major TSX sector that rose was materials, helped by
gold miners and fertilizer producers. 
    Goldcorp Inc rose 1.5 percent to C$38.53 as gold
prices held above $1,570 an ounce, following a sharp correction
last week. 
    Shares of Potash Corp rose 3.3 percent to C$42.73
and Agrium Inc was 1.1 percent higher at C$87.83 after
corn futures rose on the Chicago Board of Trade, as dry weather
threatened to cause more harm to the U.S. corn crop.
    Shares of the fertilizer makers typically track the prices
of fertilizer-intensive corn closely, as higher grain prices are
likely to spur farmers to increase crop nutrient utilization.