CANADA STOCKS-TSX slips as Barrick, Valeant weigh
* TSX down 28.65 points, or 0.21 percent, at 13,426.68 * Barrick shares fall 5.6 pct after Pascua-Lama project suspended By Alastair Sharp TORONTO, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index declined slightly on Thursday after hitting a two-year high the previous session, with a broad sell-off led by miners as earnings season produced some negative surprises. Barrick Gold Corp fell 5.6 percent to C$20.39 after the world's top gold producer said it was suspending construction of a massive project in South America. Regulators halted construction on the Chilean side of the Pascua-Lama project last spring, citing serious environmental violations, while unionized Chilean workers have also threatened to strike. "It's a double-edged sword. They can stop the bleeding temporarily, and on the other side, send a message to the Chilean government," said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities. "They are saying 'enough is enough,' and I think it is a good thing." Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc weighed heavily, falling 4.5 percent to C$109.17 after Canada's largest publicly traded drugmaker posted a quarterly net loss and cut its full-year revenue outlook. In the energy sector, Canada's largest oil and gas company, Suncor Energy Inc, said it was moving ahead with a multibillion-dollar oil sands project. The stock gained 0.4 percent to C$38.13. Aircraft maker Bombardier plunged 8.3 percent to C$4.83 after its profit fell on fewer plane orders and contract issues in its train unit. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 28.65 points, or 0.21 percent, at 13,426.68 by late morning. Canada's benchmark stock index has risen sharply in recent weeks, as evidence mounted that the U.S. Federal Reserve would be in no hurry to slow its monetary stimulus and China's economic slowdown stabilized. "While we've seen some head fakes from the China economy in the past 18 to 24 months, I think this one is sustainable," said Craig Fehr, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis. "But any hiccups along the way are going to spur a lot of volatility in the market." Faster growth in China should provide Canada's stock market with a major boost, given the outsized role that resource companies play in the index. China said on Wednesday that it expects steady foreign trade this year and next. Its thirst for raw materials is a boon to Canada's many producers in this sector.
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