TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index ended higher on Monday, with gains from an auto parts maker, a pharmaceutical company and a dollar store operator helping offset losses from the index's heavyweight energy sector.
Valeant Pharmaceutical International Inc (VRX.TO), an acquisitive drugmaker that has risen quickly to become a major force on the index, was the most influential gainer, up 1.2 percent at C$300.08.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE gained 60.04 points, or 0.40 percent, to close at 15,074.13. Eight of the 10 main sectors rose and advancing issues outnumbered declining ones by 155 to 87.
Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier, said the index could hit fresh record highs by the end of the year despite the sluggishness of energy stocks amid pricing uncertainty.
"I'm not certain that the current stock price (of Canadian energy issues) is reflecting a $60 price," he said. "I think there's still a lot of skepticism towards that price. Investors are very hesitant getting into the energy sector."
Investors had mixed reactions to banks after last week's earnings.
"The banks reported last week and they were pretty much as advertised. Scotia is up today, but the others are all stuck in the mud," said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities.
Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) gained 0.7 percent to C$65.88, while Royal Bank of Canada fell 0.3 percent to C$78.83.
"It's not a very robust start to the new month. We do have the summer doldrums, as they say, coming up," Kinsey added. "So far, it's getting off to a sleepy start."
Additional reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Peter Galloway and Richard Chang