TORONTO (Reuters) - A plunge in shares of drugmaker Valeant and sharp retreats in several other companies on the back of disappointing earnings reports pushed Canada’s main stock index lower on Thursday.
Valeant Pharmaceutical International Inc VRX.TO slumped 14.7 percent to C$103.37, touching its lowest level since mid-2013, heaping new pressure on its CEO after weeks of steep declines.
Auto maker Magna International Inc (MG.TO) fell 10.3 percent to C$62.42 after reporting a drop in quarterly sales which the auto parts maker blamed on a strong U.S. dollar.
Magna’s valuation has risen steadily in recent years and the sharp loss on a moderately disappointing quarter shows that investors are nervous, said Elvis Picardo, a strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.
“It’s an environment right now where investors are skittish and they’re not going to hesitate to take profits on stocks that have moved higher,” he said.
Telus, one of the country’s biggest telecom companies, lost 4.1 percent to C$41.91 after reporting slower wireless growth and planned job cuts.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended down 103.04 points, or 0.75 percent, at 13,558.78.
Shares of Ontario electric utility Hydro One Ltd (H.TO) rose C$1.12 to C$21.57 on its trading debut.
The stock was priced at C$20.50 last week, at the high end of a previously announced range.
Insurer Sun Life Financial Inc (SLF.TO) slipped 1.8 percent to C$43.86. The company’s CEO told Reuters it is scouting for more acquisitions in North America and Asia.
The materials group retreated 1.8 percent as copper prices CMCU3 hit their weakest level in a month. [MET/L].
The energy index dipped 0.1 percent, holding the line against a sharper oil price fall.
Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) jumped 5.5 percent to C$33.71 after the country’s largest independent petroleum producer reduced its 2015 budget for the fifth time.
Shares in Agrium Inc AGU.TO gained 1.2 percent to C$126.83 after the Canadian fertilizer and farm retail dealer bucked on industry trend with a jump in quarterly profit.
Additional writing by Fergal Smith; Editing by Diane Craft