CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as market shy to move with U.S. on holiday

Mon May 26, 2014 5:01pm EDT

* TSX up 7.59 points, or 0.05 percent, at 14,715.69
    * Eight of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Manulife, TD Bank the biggest heavyweight gainers

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, May 26 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
little changed on Monday as gains in financials were offset by
weakness in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc 
with investors reluctant to make big moves while the U.S. market
was closed for the Memorial Day holiday.
    The holiday kept volumes thin. The 103 million shares that
changed hands compared with an average daily volume of about 301
million shares in April, according to Thomson Reuters data and
figures from market operator TMX Group.
    The Toronto stock market's benchmark index is up more than 8
percent this year, and those gains could be making share prices
expensive, some investors said.
    "The market is maybe running ahead right now, only because
investors are buying everything in sight," said Adrian
Mastracci, portfolio manager at KCM Wealth Management.
    He said that investors should be more selective and make
changes to their portfolios, but added that the appetite for
Canadian equities remains pretty high.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 7.59 points, or 0.05 percent, at 14,715.69.
It has outperformed the S&P 500 so far in 2014.
    "The Toronto stock market will be a surprise winner this
year," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds. "We
think it will outdo the U.S. market and commodity prices will do
better."
    Investors were also digesting news of strong election
performances by pro-European forces in Italy and Germany, while
nationalist, Euroskeptic parties triumphed in France and
Britain.  
    Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added
0.2 percent. Manulife Financial Corp gained 1.3 percent
to C$20.30, and Toronto-Dominion Bank advanced 0.4
percent to C$53.61. The two stocks had the biggest positive
influence on the market.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, edged
up. Teck Resources Ltd climbed 0.4 percent to C$25.46,
and Barrick Gold Corp rose 0.3 percent to C$18.02.
    Valeant slid 0.9 percent to C$143.70.
    In corporate news, a Sun Life Financial executive
said the company is boosting investment in Indonesia and
Malaysia at a time when growth in earnings from some core Asian
markets has slowed. The stock added 0.4 percent to C$36.91.
 
    ($1=$1.09 Canadian)

 (Editing by Peter Galloway)
A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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