TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Thursday as shares of energy producers dropped with the price of oil and Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) tumbled after the planemaker said it had suspended development of its new Learjet 85 business aircraft.
Bombardier also trimmed its forecasts for 2014 and cut 1,000 jobs in Mexico and the United States.
Shares of BlackBerry Ltd (BB.TO) also plunged, down 19.6 percent at C$12.08, after the smartphone maker and Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) both denied that Samsung had approached BlackBerry about a takeover proposal.
BlackBerry shares shot up nearly 30 percent in the previous session after a Reuters report, citing a person familiar with the matter and documents, said that Samsung recently talked to BlackBerry about buying it for as much as $7.5 billion.
Switzerland’s surprising decision to abandon its more than three-year-old ceiling on the franc’s value against the euro shook global markets. But the move benefited the bullion price, which jumped to a four-month high. Shares of gold miners on the Toronto stock market climbed 7.5 percent.
“It was a pretty choppy day. It’s going to be a heck of a challenging year,” said Elvis Picardo, strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver. “Some money is going to the non-energy sectors, but overall the TSX will continue to remain under pressure.”
“With all that’s going on in the global economy, the TSX is bearing the brunt of those concerns,” he added. “The fact that crude oil has dropped so precipitously doesn’t really help too.”
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 42.61 points, or 0.3 percent, at 14,041.82. Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.
Shares in the oil and gas sector dropped 1.2 percent, with oil prices remaining choppy. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO) slipped 0.3 percent to C$32.65, and Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO) shed 1.9 percent to C$34.22.
In other news, Canadian retail stocks reacted after U.S. discount retailer Target Corp (TGT.N) said it will be pulling out of Canada less than two years after it opened its first Canadian store. Loblaw Companies (L.TO) shares were up 2.3 percent at C$60.02, while Canadian Tire (CTCa.TO) shares rose 2.9 percent to C$119.62.
Empire Co (EMPa.TO), which had a wholesale deal for its Sobeys subsidiary to supply Target’s groceries, was up 2.1 percent at C$88.42. The company said the Target closures would have no material impact on Sobeys results.
Sears Canada SCC.TO, which has seen its market share erode for years and has been working to turn operations around, dived 9.1 percent to C$11.43.
Additional reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Chris Reese; and Peter Galloway