- S&P/TSX has best quarter since April-to-June period in 2014
- Valeant slumps fifth day to extend loss to 23% over period
Canadian stocks fell, with the Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index posting its biggest monthly advance since October 2011. Energy stocks in the benchmark gauge rose as the U.S. dollar slumped.
The S&P/TSX dropped 9.62 points, or 0.1 percent to 13,494.36 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The measure has jumped 4.9 percent in March and has climbed 3.7 percent this year, its best quarterly performance since the second in 2014. The index now trades at about 21.4 times earnings, roughly 14 percent more expensive than the valuation of the U.S. equity benchmark, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Trading was 23 percent below the 30-day average, continuing a stretch of light volume.
A report on Thursday showed that Canada’s economy posted the strongest monthly gain in three years in January, driven by a growth in manufacturing.
Oil prices closed near $38 a barrel. Crude’s rebound from a 12-year low last month has slowed down as investors await the results of upcoming talks among OPEC producers in April on a possible output freeze. Bonterra Energy Corp.orp. added 5.7 percent to lead the rally in the sector.
Silver Wheaton Corp. tumbled 5.8 percent after the company said yesterday it will raise at least $500 million by selling new shares.
Health-care companies fell the most, trading near the lowest level since January 2011. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. retreated for a fifth day, losing 3 percent. It was reported yesterday that the drugmaker is offering lenders a one-time fee and extra interest on its loans in exchange for waiving a default caused by a delayed earnings filing. Moody’s downgraded the drugmaker’s stocks today. Stocks of the company have plunged 23 percent in five days.