Canadian benchmark equity index drops near 3 percent on China concern

08:39, June 30, 2010      

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Canadian stocks fell the most in a year as markets around the world reacted to renewed fears of a slowdown in China. The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed 343.18 points, or 2.96 percent, lower at 11,263.83 on Tuesday.

All sectors on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) declined with the index measuring the diversified metals &mining sector losing 6.94 percent.

Commodity futures except gold slipped. Crude oil for August delivery went down 3.59 percent to 75.94 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Tuesday. Natural Gas decreased 3.48 percent. Copper dropped 5.19 percent. Raw materials account for about half of Canada's export revenue.

As concerns about the economy grew, more investors turned to gold as a safe haven. Gold for August delivery rose 0.28 percent to 1,242.40 U.S. dollars an ounce.

Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. dropped 9.10 percent. Teck Resources Ltd., Canada's largest base-metals producer, reduced 5.67 percent after the company earlier reported an explosion at its Greenhills coal mine in British Columbia. First Quantum Minerals Ltd., Canada's second-biggest copper producer, lost 6.41 percent.

The index measuring the energy sector on the TSX declined 3.50 percent. Suncor Energy Inc., Canada's largest energy company, reduced 4.09 percent. Crew Energy Inc. shrank 4.76 percent. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. decreased 3.31 percent.

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