CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls as lower U.S. crude hits energy shares

Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:17pm EDT
 
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* TSX ends down 105.15 points, or 0.92 percent, at 11,330.39
    * Energy stocks lead market lower as U.S. crude falls
    * Losses offset by gold miners, fertilizer producers

    By Allison Martell
    TORONTO, June 25 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
dropped on Monday, touching its lowest point in almost three
weeks, led by weaker energy stocks as U.S. crude oil fell, with
investors worried about the euro zone debt crisis ahead of a
major summit this week.
    Global equity markets fell on investor skepticism that the
June 28-29 European Union summit would produce substantive
measures to tackle the debt crisis. 
    U.S. crude prices were also lower on summit doubts and as
the first named storm to hit the Gulf of Mexico this Atlantic
hurricane season missed production-rich areas. 
    "If Europe brings the global economy into a big recession,
there's a huge risk to the Canadian market because of its
exposure to resources," said Marc-Andre Robitaille, president
and portfolio manager at Robitaille Asset Management in
Montreal.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed down 105.15 points, or 0.92 percent, at
11,330.39. The index at one point hit 11,295.06, its weakest
level since June 4.
    "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."
    The heavyweight oil and gas group played the biggest role in
leading the market lower, dropping 2.1 percent. Financial issues
declined 1.4 percent.
    Leading decliners included Royal Bank of Canada,
which fell 1.9 percent to C$50.95, while Suncor Energy 
fell 2.0 percent to C$27.71.
    Encana Corp was also among the major weights on the
index, losing 3.7 percent to hit C$19.61.
    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. 
    Research In Motion fell 7.5 percent after a Morgan
Stanley analyst said the BlackBerry maker would have to shrink
considerably to survive. 
    
    GOLD, POTASH SUPPORT
    Losses in energy and bank stocks were partly offset by gains
in the materials group, helped by gold miners and fertilizer
producers.
    Goldcorp Inc rose 3.2 percent to C$39.17 as euro zone
worries boosted safe-haven buying of bullion. 
    Potash Corp rose 2.1 percent to C$42.24 and Agrium
Inc was 1.2 percent higher at C$87.86 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 their use of crop nutrients.