TSX ends four-day climb after bid for Astral blocked
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index finished lower on Friday, breaking a four-day winning streak, as shares of Astral Media Inc (ACMa.TO: Quote) plunged almost 16 percent after the country's broadcast regulator blocked its planned takeover by BCE Inc (BCE.TO: Quote).
Negative sentiment from quarterly U.S. corporate results also spilled into Canadian stocks as earnings from bellwether companies disappointed investors already concerned about global growth and Europe's debt crisis.
"A bit of this end-of-the-week sell-off is some disappointment around earnings from some companies within the S&P 500 and the Dow," said Craig Fehr, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis, Missouri.
Earnings are "really reflecting the pressure that corporate profits are under right now given the broader economic backdrop," he said.
Multiple analysts cut their price targets for Astral Media after the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission blocked BCE's C$3 billion ($3.05 billion) bid. Astral was one of the most influential decliners on the index, with its shares falling to C$39.51. BCE fell 1.76 percent to C$42.86, while the overall telecoms sector was off 0.33 percent.
The consumer discretionary sector, home to Astral and other media companies, was down 1.26 percent. Corus Entertainment (CJRb.TO: Quote) shed 2.83 percent to C$22.33.
"Obviously there were a lot of people who were disappointed that this deal didn't go through," said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod.
"BCE is certainly a significant weight within the index. ... It does have a bearing on sentiment, it does have a bearing on the market." Continued...