TSX edges lower as miners, Valeant offset losses

Tue Nov 1, 2016 5:01pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index ended barely lower on Tuesday as heavyweight financial and industrial stocks weighed and gold miners benefited from safe-haven demand for precious metals ahead of next week's U.S. election.

Shares in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (VRX.TO: Quote) jumped 30.2 percent to C$31.18 after The Wall Street Journal reported the drugmaker is in talks to sell a stomach-drug business for about $10 billion.

Other influential gainers included Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote), which jumped 4.5 percent to C$24.66, and Franco Nevada Corp (FNV.TO: Quote), which advanced 2.7 percent to C$90.13.

Gold, silver and platinum rallied to one-month highs as concerns over the outcome of the U.S. election sparked losses in stocks and the dollar, prompting investors to seek out precious metals as a haven from risk. [GOL/]

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE settled down 8.95 points, or 0.06 percent, at 14,778.32.

"The Canadian market seems like it is trying its best," said Barry Schwartz, portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services, adding that outside of resource stocks, sentiment was influenced by Wall Street's jitters. [.N]

The materials group, which includes precious and base metal miners as well as fertilizer companies, added 1.5 percent. The energy group gained 0.4 percent, even as crude prices fell.

"Oil was working, now it's not. Gold was working, then it wasn't, now it is again," he said.   Continued...

A TMX Group sign, the company that runs the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), is seen in Toronto, June 23, 2014.  REUTERS/Mark Blinch/File Photo