Valeant surges, but energy, banks keep TSX down

Tue Sep 4, 2012 5:16pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index closed slightly lower on Tuesday, weighed down by heavyweight energy and bank stocks that offset surging Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (VRX.TO: Quote), which said it would buy a rival.

Energy companies were hit especially hard, as the price of oil slipped and investors questioned when crude would settle on a longer-term direction. <O/R>

"There's too many moving parts to get a fix on where energy prices go from here," said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice-president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO: Quote) was the single biggest weight on the index, down 2.57 percent at C$29.22. Pipeline company Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO: Quote) slipped 1.55 percent to C$38.21, the second biggest weight.

Banks also pushed lower, with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) down 0.56 percent at C$54.86. The banks gained last week on surprising robust profit and dividend increases.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 7.56 points, or 0.06 percent, at 11,941.70.

The commodity-related stocks retreated even as investors expect details on European bond-buying plans that would likely support demand for resources.

"You would think that commodity stocks and the cyclical stocks would try to rally strongly on the back of that and you're not seeing that kind of participation from these sectors," said Sid Mokhtari, director of institutional equity research at CIBC World Markets.   Continued...

A Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) logo is seen in Toronto November 9, 2007. REUTERS/Mark Blinch