CANADA STOCKS-TSX edges up with help from Valeant

Fri May 30, 2014 5:02pm EDT

* Valeant up 1.6 pct after it alters Allergan bid
    * Market shrugs of disappointing GDP figures
    * Key index has first monthly decline in 11 months in May

 (Recasts with Valeant move, adds details, quotes, updates
prices)
    TORONTO, May 30 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index edged
higher on Friday, pulled up by      Valeant Pharmaceuticals
International after it again boosted the cash component
of its takeover bid for drugmaker Allergan, a move that bucked
up market sentiment following the release of weak economic
growth figures early in the day.
    Still, the Toronto stock market's benchmark index slipped
0.3 percent for May, its first monthly decline in nearly a year.
    Valeant was the day's biggest net gainer after it adjusted
its bid for Botox-maker Allergan Inc for the second time
this week, contingent on the two sides negotiating. Valeant rose
1.6 percent to C$142.34. 
    That helped overshadow data that showed sluggish economic
growth in the first quarter. Domestic gross domestic product
(GDP) grew by an annualized 1.2 percent in the first three
months, slower than the 1.8 percent expected by economists.
 
    "Investors are looking past the slower GDP numbers because
the expectation is that the economy can certainly strengthen
going forward," said Elvis Picardo, strategist at Global
Securities
    "In the absence of a catastrophic event, the path of least
resistance for the market is upward."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 ended up 15.21 points, or 0.1 percent, at 14,604.16.
May was the first month the index has fallen since last June.
    "There's some caution that creeps in when you have advances
month after month and perhaps this giveback is reflecting that
caution," Picardo said.
    Shares of Bombardier fell 2.4 percent to C$3.69 
after the company said its new CSeries jet suffered an
"engine-related incident" while stationary during maintenance
testing. Flight testing of the aircraft has been halted, the
company said. 
    Half of the index's 10 main sectors rose, including the
mining-heavy materials sector, which added 0.6
percent, while shares of energy companies gained 0.3
percent.
    ($1=$1.08 Canadian)

 (Reporting by Leah Schnurr and John Tilak; Editing by Peter
Galloway)
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