CANADA STOCKS-Energy shares, drugmaker Valeant drive TSX higher

Tue Jan 7, 2014 10:56am EST

* TSX rises 95.03 points, or 0.70 percent, to 13,590.57
    * Nine of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Valeant soars 8.4 percent after CEO comments, forecast

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
advanced on Tuesday, firming after declines in the previous
three sessions, boosted by a jump in Valeant Pharmaceuticals
International Inc after bullish comments from the
drugmaker's top executive. 
    Shares of energy producers also rallied, providing further
support. 
    Economic data in recent days has been mixed, with signs of a
slowdown in the Chinese economy offset by more positive signals
from the United States. A Reuters poll found China's annual
economic growth likely slowed slightly in the fourth quarter.
 
    A Commerce Department report showed that the U.S. trade
deficit dropped to its lowest level in four years in November as
exports hit a record high and weak oil prices restrained import
growth. 
    Investors are still waiting for more clarity about the
global economy before placing any significant bets on the
market, said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada. 
    "Everybody is frozen, like the movie," he said, noting that
it was still very early on in the year for a tone to be set for
the market. 
    "The broader trend will be interest rates, and they're
likely to head higher," he added.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 95.03 points, or 0.70 percent, at 13,590.57.
Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Shares of energy producers were up 1.1 percent. Suncor
Energy Inc added 1.5 percent to C$37.13, and Enbridge
Inc rose 1.4 percent to C$46.29.
    Valeant is looking to become one of the world's top five
pharmaceutical companies by market capitalization by the end of
2016, Chief Executive Michael Pearson said on a conference call
with analysts. The company also forecast that revenue and cash
earnings for 2014 would increase by about 40 percent.
 
    Valeant shares shot up 8.4 percent to C$130.03, helping push
the healthcare sector up 3.8 percent.
    In other corporate news, a battle for Australian dairy
company Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Holdings Co
 raged on as local bidder Murray Goulburn Co-operative
Co Ltd refused to concede to rival suitor Saputo Inc,
which has already secured regulatory approval. 
    Saputo's stock gained 0.7 percent to C$49.01.
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