TSX dips as mining stocks weigh, remains in bear market territory
By Fergal Smith
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index ended slightly lower on Friday, remaining in bear market territory as mining stocks weakened and a major healthcare company fell more than 6 percent.
Relief that China's major stock indexes regained some ground proved short lived, with the market unable to build on an earlier rally despite solid U.S. and Canadian jobs gains.
"The positive that came out today was the Canadian job numbers," said Kevin Headland, director of capital markets and strategy at Manulife Asset Management.
Canada added more jobs than anticipated in December, including modest gains in the struggling manufacturing and natural resources sectors. In the United States, December jobs gains also topped expectations.
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, fell 1.4 percent. That included a 3.4 percent drop in Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO to C$11.92 as bullion pulled back from a nine-week high. [GOL/]
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc VRX.TO fell 6.2 percent to C$128.87, trading at its lowest level since Dec. 14.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed 2.76 points lower, or down 0.02 percent, at 12,445.45, marking an eighth straight lower close.
Just four of the index's 10 main groups were in negative territory. Continued...