Canadian Oil Stocks Fall On Iraqi Decision

Canadian stocks fell as oil producers such as EnCana and Talisman Energy dropped with the price of crude oil after Iraq said it will resume exports after a one-month halt. Crude fell as much as 3.8 percent in New York trading, its biggest drop in over three weeks. Iraq, which pumps about three percent of the world's oil, suspended exports April 8th to protest Israel's occupation of Palestinian controlled territories. Oil has risen by thirty two percent this year amid fighting in Israel and speculation that the US will attack Iraq to topple leader Saddam Hussein. Falling oil shares leave “possibly a buying opportunity,” said Gavin Graham, director of investments at Guardian Group of Funds in Toronto, which runs about C$8 billion ($5.11 billion) in assets. “There will be an increase in demand in the summer.” The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark index, renamed the Standard & Poor's /TSX Composite Index last week, fell 43.45 points, or 0.57 percent, to 7620.40.

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