TSX rises with financials and materials; Valeant jumps

Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:51pm EST
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By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's benchmark stock index rose on Tuesday, led by the financial and materials groups as metal prices rose, while shares of drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (VRX.TO: Quote) surged as it sold assets.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 37.33 points, or 0.24 percent, at 15,426.28.

"On a flat day financials always seem to catch a little bit of a bid and then you've got the strength in the base metals contributing to the index move along with Valeant," said Matt Skipp, president of SW8 Asset Management.

Shares in Valeant rose 7.5 percent to C$21.82 after the drugmaker said it is selling its Dendreon cancer business and three skincare brands for about $2.12 billion as it looks to pay down its more than $30 billion debt.

Still, a pullback in oil prices has weighed on the TSX since it reached 15,621.40 on Thursday, its highest since September 2014.

Investors have also been fretting that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump could shake markets at a news conference on Wednesday by taking an aggressive line on issues such as trade policy and relations with China.

"I would say that the market has been pretty optimistic about what Trump wants to do and somewhat in denial about the risk in implementing some of the things that he wants to do," Skipp said.

Financials rose 0.4 percent, helped by gains for some of the country's major banks. Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) rose 0.8 percent to C$76.96, while U.S. bank stocks climbed in advance of earnings season.   Continued...

A Bay Street sign, the main street in the financial district is seen in Toronto, January 28, 2013. REUTERS/Mark Blinch