TSX higher as motley gainers cancel energy drag

Mon Jun 1, 2015 5:19pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

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: Quote), 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.

Auto supplier Magna International Inc (MG.TO: Quote) also helped with a 3.4 percent gain to C$73.87, while Dollarama Inc (DOL.TO: Quote) jumped 3.6 percent to C$71.33.

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."

Energy stocks slipped 0.4 percent, falling with softer crude oil prices. [O/R] Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) slipped 0.8 percent to C$38.08 and Encana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote) lost 1.9 percent to C$15.46.

Investors had mixed reactions to banks after last week's earnings.   Continued...

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014.  REUTERS/Mark Blinch