Canada Stocks Decline as Oil Producers Slip With Valeant

  • Trade data signal economy stabilizing after slowdown
  • Energy stocks drop as oil fluctuates around $47 a barrel

Canadian stocks slipped after two days of gains, as a rally in energy producers stalled and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. resumed its decline.

The pullback in equities comes amid a slide in global shares sparked by speculation the Federal Reserve is poised to raise rates this year. Data today indicated that Canada’s imports fell for the first time in five months, narrowing the nation’s merchandise trade deficit for September, confirming that the world’s 11th largest economy is finding its footing after lower oil prices shocked the economy in the first half of the year.

The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index fell 48.49 points, or 0.4 percent, to 13,661.82 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The Canadian benchmark equity gauge climbed 1.7 percent in October for its best performance since April, though it trailed gains among 24 developed markets.

Energy producers in the index fell 0.5 percent after a two-day rally added 3.3 percent, with crude in the U.S. tumbling 3.3 percent to settle at $46.32 a barrel. Valeant lost 5.1 percent after being named as the focus of a probe in the U.S. Congress.

Information technology stocks led advances Wednesday, as CGI Group Inc. jumped 4.3 percent after an analyst upgrade. Pharmaceutical company ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. led the index with a 9.5 percent gain. Miner First Quantum Minerals Ltd. jumped 3.8 percent for a fourth straight day of gains.

The trade data was tempered by an announcement from the Petroleum Services Association of Canada on Tuesday that Canadian oil companies will reduce drilling activities next year as crude oil prices struggle around $50 a barrel. Canada’s energy sector is a key component of its economy.

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