Amazon deal to buy Whole Foods could shake up Canadian grocery industry

There are currently 13 Whole Foods locations in Canada and local grocers could start feeling even more competitive heat after the American chain was purchased by Amazon

Oil and gas stocks helped shore up the Toronto stock index on Friday, though shares in Canadian grocery retailers dropped sharply in the wake of Amazon's blockbuster deal to buy Whole Foods Market.

The energy group, which hit its lowest level in 13 months on Thursday, rebounded 0.9 percent, led by Enbridge Inc, which rose 2.3 percent to C$51.44.

At 11:05 a.m. ET (1505 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index fell 15.87 points, or 0.1 percent, to 15,144.55.

Stock futures pointed to a lower opening for Canada's main stock index on Thursday as oil prices continued to fall and investors remained concerned about US economic growth despite a widely expected interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

The Canadian dollar was trading at 75.16 cents USA, down from Wednesday's average price of 75.71 cents U.S.

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Despite the rise in oil prices, the commodity remained on track for a fourth consecutive week of losses because of the ongoing supply overhang. It had plunged more than 200 points a day earlier. For the week, it fell 1.8 percent.

Loblaw Companies Ltd, which has more than 2,300 corporate, franchised and associate-owned grocery stores and pharmacies across Canada, was down 3.8 percent to C$72.61, after falling as much as 5.8 percent.

Canadian Natural Resources fell 1.4 percent to C$36.84, while Cenovus Energy lost 4.4 percent to C$10.47. Metro Inc, which operates some 600 supermarkets in Quebec and Ontario, fell 2.9 percent to C$43.16.

Barrick Gold retreated 1.6 percent to C$20.76, while Teck Resources Ltd lost 3.75 percent to C$21.58 after it forecast a drop in its average realized price from the sale of steelmaking coal for the second quarter. Several analysts cut its target price on the news.

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