TORONTO, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Canada's main stock market ended Wednesday's session marginally lower, as declines in Health Care and Information Technology sectors contributed.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite peaked at a six-week high mid-session before closing the day down 26.08 points, or 0.17 percent to 15,642.99 points. Seven of the ten sub-groups ended the session lower.
For a third consecutive session, the health care sector saw the biggest dip during the session, slumping 1.83 percent during the day. Laval-based drugmaker Valeant pharmaceuticals had the biggest impact, falling 6.30 percent to 12.79 Canadian dollars (9.53 U.S. dollars), the lowest closing rate since June 2009.
The stock which peaked at 346.32 Canadian dollars less than two years ago has struggled due to controversial price hikes and investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Most recently, the company CEO had stated that the company was looking to sell eight billion U.S. dollars worth of non-core assets. It has sold 2.1 billion U.S. dollars worth of assets so far.
The TSX IT group declined 0.73 percent primarily from losses in a pair of Waterloo-based tech companies. Blackberry Limited shares gave back 1.85 percent to close at 10.63 Canadian dollars (7.92 U.S. dollars), while software firm Open Text Corporation ended the day at 44.57 Canadian dollars (33.20 U.S. dollars), a 1.70 percent downswing.
The remaining groups that finished the day in negative territory were: Financial (0.38 percent), Consumer Staples (0.14 percent), Industrials (0.06 percent), Utilities (0.02 percent), and Energy (0.01 percent).
Not all groups lost ground on Wednesday, as three groups managed modest gains. Consumer Discretionary rose 0.10 percent, Materials ticked up 0.06 percent, and Telecommunications inched up 0.05 percent.
The Consumer Discretionary group, which is made up of producers of non-essentials goods such as automobiles, apparel and entertainment was fuelled by department store retailer Hudson's Bay Company. Shares of the oldest company in Canada soared 7.73 percent to 10.45 Canadian dollars (7.78 U.S. dollars) after quarterly financials was better than expected. In the two days prior, shares dipped a combined 10.27 percent as investors bet on the earnings to miss expectations.
Dragging down the group was a trio of automobile parts makers. Toronto-based Martinrea International Inc shares declined 2.79 percent, a third straight session of losses, to close at 9.42 Canadian dollars (7.02 U.S. dollars). Meanwhile, Magna International Inc and Linamar Corporation saw shares fall 1.85 percent and 0.79 percent, respectively.
The Materials group, which is comprised of producers of gold, precious metals, and raw materials, was influenced by three Toronto-based gold miners. IAMGOLD Corporation and Yamana Gold Inc posted respective gains of 1.78 percent and 1.33 percent.
Meanwhile, Barrick Gold Corporation, the world's largest producer of gold ticked down 0.34 percent to 26.01 Canadian dollars (19.37 U.S. dollars) after news that they were in advanced talks with China's Shandong Gold Mining Co Ltd to sell half of their stake in Veladero gold mine in Argentina for more than one billion U.S. dollars.
The Canadian dollar slipped 0.11 cents to end the day at 0.7448 U.S. dollars.