CANADA STOCKS-TSX climbs as U.S. jobs data, Valeant support

Wed Jan 8, 2014 4:53pm EST

* TSX rises 17.70 points, or 0.13 percent, to 13,614.63
    * Six of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Valeant jumps 2.7 percent, up for second day
    * CN Rail slips 1.6 percent after train derails

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
advanced on Wednesday as shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals
International Inc jumped and positive U.S. jobs data
fueled gains in several major sectors.
    The gains were offset a little by a decline in shares of
Canadian National Railway Co after a CN train carrying
crude oil and propane derailed and caught fire in New Brunswick
on Tuesday night, according to federal safety officials.
 
    Investors digested a bullish U.S. private jobs report, ahead
of nonfarm payrolls data set for release on Friday.
    Figures from payrolls processor ADP on Wednesday showed U.S.
private employers added a more jobs than expected in December,
posting the strongest increase in 13 months. 
    "Those numbers continue to be in the sweet spot, and that's
exactly what investors need to keep the rally going," said Elvis
Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global
Securities in Vancouver. 
    But investors don't want too robust a report on Friday, he
added. "If those numbers blow past estimates, that's going to
cause real concern about how quickly the Fed will taper."
    The U.S. Federal Reserve's path to unwind its monetary
stimulus program has stayed on top of investors' radar screens,
and on Wednesday minutes from a recent policy meeting showed Fed
officials looking to approach the process very cautiously.
 
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark index traded in
positive territory for a second straight day after declining in
the first three sessions of 2014. The market recorded a 9.6
percent gain in 2013.
    "The expectation is that the global economy will gradually
pick up over the course of the year, and that is a positive for
the TSX," Picardo said.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 17.70 points, or 0.13 percent, at 13,614.63.
Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Valeant advanced for a second straight day, rising 2.7
percent, after the drugmaker said on Tuesday it plans to become
one of the world's top five pharmaceutical companies by market
capitalization by the end of 2016 and also released a bullish
forecast for 2014. 
    Valeant's jump, to C$138.64, helped push the healthcare
sector up 1.5 percent.
    Financials advanced 0.3 percent, with Manulife Financial
Corp climbing 2.4 percent to C$21.35 and Sun Life
Financial Inc adding 2 percent to C$37.35.
    But gold-mining shares dropped 1 percent, pulled lower by a
declining bullion price. Barrick Gold Corp was down 1.5
percent at C$19.37, and Goldcorp Inc gave back 1 percent
to C$23.87.
    CN Rail slipped 1.6 percent to C$58.63.
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