Valeant pulls down TSX; resource and bank stocks weigh

Fri Oct 30, 2015 4:35pm EDT
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By John Tilak and Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell sharply on Friday, pushed lower by a slump in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (VRX.TO: Quote) after it cut ties with a specialty pharmacy accused of helping it inflate revenue, and by retreats in heavyweight banks.

The most influential single weight on the index was Valeant, which fell 17.7 percent after it said it will sever ties with Philidor Rx Services in the wake of criticism over the relationship between the two closely associated companies.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 262.71 points, or 1.90 percent, at 13,529.17. All 10 of its main groups fell. It lost 3 percent on the week but gained 1.7 percent through October.

"Much of the action has been caused by the collapse of Valeant," said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver.

"The weakness in crude oil hasn't helped as well," he said.

The overall energy group retreated 0.4 percent, with Husky Energy Inc (HSE.TO: Quote) down 12.8 percent to C$17.67 after swinging to a quarterly loss on a writedown and impairment charge.

U.S. crude CLc1 prices recovered from early losses to rise 0.8 percent to $46.42 a barrel.

Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) fell 2.5 percent to C$10.05. The world's biggest gold producer said on Thursday it will increase its focus on productivity gains in 2016.   Continued...

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch