CANADA STOCKS-TSX slips as Iraq, valuation concerns weigh

Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:18am EDT

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* TSX down 20.27 points, or 0.13 percent, at 15,088.70
    * Six of 10 main index sectors decline
    * Valeant slips after Allergan advises against deal
    * SNC climbs after acquisition move

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, June 23 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
slipped on Monday as worries about political instability in Iraq
and concerns about high valuations dragged on market sentiment,
offsetting gains in the index's mining-heavy materials group.
    In Iraq, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Iraqi Prime
Minister Nuri al-Maliki to push for more inclusive leadership as
government forces abandoned the border with Jordan, leaving the
entire Western frontier outside government control.
 
     Investors also digested data showing an expansion in
Chinese factory sector activity in June for the first time in
six months as new orders surged. 
    Some fund managers fear the Toronto market, which had its
highest-ever close last week, might have run ahead of itself.
The benchmark index is up about 11 percent this year.
    "We're skirting pretty close to record highs, so we're going
to see some profit-taking," said Michael Sprung, president of
Sprung Investment Management.
    "There's very little room on the upside right now," he
added.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was down 20.27 points, or 0.13 percent, at 15,088.70.
Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, gave
back 0.4 percent, with Toronto-Dominion Bank losing 0.5
percent to C$54.52 and Bank of Nova Scotia falling 0.1
percent to C$70.83.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, advanced
1 percent, helped by an increase in copper prices. First Quantum
Minerals Ltd jumped 1.4 percent to C$22.03.
    In corporate news, Allergan Inc advised investors
not to sell their shares to Valeant Pharmaceuticals
International, which launched a hostile takeover offer
for the California-based Botox maker last week. Allergan said
Valeant's offer was "grossly inadequate". Valeant shares fell
1.2 percent to C$130.34. 
    Canadian engineering and construction company SNC-Lavalin
Group Inc said that it would acquire British energy
services provider Kentz Corp for about 1.16 billion
pounds ($1.98 billion) in cash. SNC's stock climbed 1.8 percent
to C$53.35. 
    ($1=$1.07 Canadian)

 (Editing by Peter Galloway)
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