TSX slides for fifth day, but earnings temper losses

Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:38pm EDT
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By Solarina Ho

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index declined for a fifth straight session on Thursday, hit by losses in the heavyweight financials, energy and materials sectors.

While positive quarterly results helped boost gains in some large-cap Canadian companies, weakness in copper, bullion and U.S. crude oil prices ensured the key natural resource sectors would end the day in the red.

The benchmark TSX index is down about 2.5 percent this year.

“I just see panic in the Canadian market,” said David Cockfield, managing director and portfolio manager at Northland Wealth Management.

“There’s a lot of sound and fury, but no real rationale,” he added. “You don’t get in front of the stampede. You just have to sit back and watch.”

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 41.75 points, or 0.29 percent, at 14,265.37. Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.

Materials, which include mining companies, were down 2.8 percent, energy shares gave back 0.4 percent, and financials were off 0.9 percent. The three groups make up roughly two-thirds of the TSX's weight.

Drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (VRX.TO: Quote) had the biggest positive impact on the TSX, with shares rising 9.2 percent to C$341.02 after it reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit. Strength in its U.S. dermatology business bolstered results.   Continued...

A TMX Group sign, the company that runs the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), is seen in Toronto, June 23, 2014.   REUTERS/Mark Blinch