CANADA STOCKS-Energy shares, drugmaker Valeant drive TSX higher
* 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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