CANADA STOCKS-TSX slips as Barrick, Valeant weigh

Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:31am EDT

* TSX down 28.65 points, or 0.21 percent, at 13,426.68
    * Barrick shares fall 5.6 pct after Pascua-Lama project
suspended


    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
declined slightly on Thursday after hitting a two-year high the
previous session, with a broad sell-off led by miners as
earnings season produced some negative surprises.
    Barrick Gold Corp fell 5.6 percent to C$20.39 after
the world's top gold producer said it was suspending
construction of a massive project in South America.
 
    Regulators halted construction on the Chilean side of the
Pascua-Lama project last spring, citing serious environmental
violations, while unionized Chilean workers have also threatened
to strike.
    "It's a double-edged sword. They can stop the bleeding
temporarily, and on the other side, send a message to the
Chilean government," said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at
Caldwell Securities. "They are saying 'enough is enough,' and I
think it is a good thing." 
    Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc weighed
heavily, falling 4.5 percent to C$109.17 after Canada's largest
publicly traded drugmaker posted a quarterly net loss and cut
its full-year revenue outlook. 
    In the energy sector, Canada's largest oil and gas company,
Suncor Energy Inc, said it was moving ahead with a
multibillion-dollar oil sands project. The stock
gained 0.4 percent to C$38.13.
    Aircraft maker Bombardier plunged 8.3 percent to
C$4.83 after its profit fell on fewer plane orders and contract
issues in its train unit. 
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was down 28.65 points, or 0.21 percent, at 13,426.68
by late morning. 
    Canada's benchmark stock index has risen sharply in recent
weeks, as evidence mounted that the U.S. Federal Reserve would
be in no hurry to slow its monetary stimulus and China's
economic slowdown stabilized.
    "While we've seen some head fakes from the China economy in
the past 18 to 24 months, I think this one is sustainable," said
Craig Fehr, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones in St.
Louis. "But any hiccups along the way are going to spur a lot of
volatility in the market."
    Faster growth in China should provide Canada's stock market
with a major boost, given the outsized role that resource
companies play in the index.
    China said on Wednesday that it expects steady foreign trade
this year and next. Its thirst for raw materials is a boon to
Canada's many producers in this sector.
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