(Adds portfolio manager comment, details, updates prices to
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, April 23 Canada's main stock index
edged lower on Wednesday, with gains from some big energy
producers offset by dips in heavyweight banks and a pullback in
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc shares after
an acquisition-backed bump.
Suncor Energy Inc gained 2.6 percent to C$41.37 and
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd added 0.7 percent to
C$32.66 even as record U.S. crude inventories hurt oil prices.
"We have become more favorable on commodity producers
(during) these short-term price dislocations," said Philip
Petursson of Manulife Asset Management's portfolio advisory
Better-than-expected profits reported by Canadian National
Railway Co after the close on Tuesday, coupled with an
earlier cheery outlook from its chief rival, Canadian Pacific
Railway Ltd, failed to keep the railways in positive
"If they can generate the kind of results they did in a very
rough quarter weather-wise, it means they are very efficient in
terms of their operations and there is that incremental demand
out there for goods moving across the country," Petursson said.
Shares in CN slipped 0.3 percent to C$63.38, while CP was
off 1.2 percent at C$170.50 after a sharp jump on Tuesday.
Adding to the day's decline, Valeant pulled back 2.8 percent
to C$145.25. It had surged on Tuesday after making an
unsolicited bid for the maker of Botox.
Fertilizer maker Potash Corp fell 2.4 percent to
C$38.35. The sales consortium it is a part of signed a deal with
Canada's biggest banks added to the declines, as China's
economic data disappointed and a bump in domestic retail sales
failed to make an impact.
Royal Bank of Canada slipped 0.5 percent to C$72.13,
Toronto-Dominion Bank was off 0.4 percent at C$51.64,
and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce fell 0.7 percent,
Reuters reported on Tuesday that CIBC was exploring an offer
for global asset manager Russell Investments, according to
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
ended the session down 22.58 points, or 0.16 percent,
at 14,533.39. Six of the index's 10 main industry groups were
(Additional reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by G Crosse,
Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis)