CANADA STOCKS-Gains in energy shares, Valeant drive TSX higher

Tue Jan 7, 2014 4:46pm EST

* TSX rises 101.39 points, or 0.75 percent, to 13,596.93
    * Nine of the 10 main index sectors advance
    * Valeant soars 12.5 percent after CEO comments, forecast

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index shook
off three sessions of losses and rose sharply on Tuesday as
energy company shares jumped and Valeant Pharmaceuticals
International surged after bullish comments from the
drugmaker's top executive.
    The market was swayed by figures that showed 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.  
    That bullish signal outweighed signs of a slowdown in the
Chinese economy. A Reuters poll found China's annual economic
growth likely slowed slightly in the fourth quarter.
 
    "If you want to look at returns, you're going to have to go
into the equity market," said Fred Ketchen, director of equity
trading at ScotiaMcLeod, who noted that investors were starting
to favor stocks over fixed income.
    "More and more people are starting to do that, and it's
starting to pay off for them," he added. Returns for the
Canadian equity market in 2014 are "likely to be positive but
not runaway," he said.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 101.39 points, or 0.75 percent, at
13,596.93. Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Shares of energy producers were up 1.1 percent. Suncor
Energy Inc added 1.6 percent to C$37.17, and Enbridge
Inc rose 1.1 percent to C$46.17.
    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 12.5 percent to C$135.03, helping
push the index's healthcare sector up 5.4 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 to take over
Warrnambool. 
    Saputo's stock gained 0.2 percent to C$48.75.
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