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