Valeant and gold miners help TSX rise in low-volume trade

Mon May 27, 2013 4:53pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Shares in a pharmaceutical company making a big buy surged for a second straight session and the rising price of gold helped beaten-down miners bounce higher in low-volume trade on Canada's main stock index on Monday.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX.TO: Quote) hit an all-time high and ended up 10.2 percent at C$95.85 after the drugmaker said it would buy eye-care products company Bausch & Lomb Holdings Inc for $8.7 billion.

"It's enthusiasm for the target," said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada.

The deal, which was initially reported on Friday, is expected to thrust Valeant into the upper ranks of the global pharmaceutical sector.

"It sounds like a good deal," said Rick Hutcheon, president and chief operating officer at RKH Investments. "They've been quite the aggressive acquisitor. Presumably (Bausch & Lomb) makes a good fit."

Meanwhile, a higher bullion price, supported by strong physical demand and a weaker dollar, spurred the rise in shares of gold companies. <GOL/>

"Gold prices have held their own ... that is giving a boost to some of these gold stocks," Ing said.

Global gold miners .SPTTGD, which occupy a sizable chunk of the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE, have lost more than one-third of their value so far this year.   Continued...

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