TSX falls 1.2 percent as resources slump, Valeant fails to reassure
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Monday as resources stocks weighed and investors remained skittish about Valeant Pharmaceuticals despite its attempts to address recent allegations made against it by an influential short-seller.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 162.76 points, or 1.17 percent, at 13,790.90.
Nine of the index's 10 main groups fell, led by a 5 percent retreat for the heavyweight energy group, a 4 percent loss for materials stocks, and a 5.2 percent drop in consumer staples.
The losses among resource stocks were much sharper than any slips in prices for the underlying commodities they extract, refine or transport.
"The month has been marked by this very strong move on very little information, and the market is now digesting it and saying 'there's not a lot here'," said John Stephenson, president at Stephenson & Company Capital Management.
The most influential single weight was Valeant (VRX.TO: Quote), down 4.8 percent at C$145.34, after it laid out a detailed defense of its relationship with a specialty pharmacy that failed to calm all investor concerns.
"The nagging sense is why are we hearing about this at the last minute and given that we're hearing about it at the last minute, what else aren't they telling us," Stephenson said.
The most influential movers in the energy group were pipeline operator Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO: Quote), down 2.2 percent at C$55.63, and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote), which declined 2.5 percent to C$30.32. Continued...