TSX gains as Valeant bounces, index adds 1.4 percent on week

Fri Oct 23, 2015 4:46pm EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Friday, helping it post a 1.4 percent gain on the week, as shares of embattled Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc bounced and a range of financial and materials stocks also gained.

Valeant (VRX.TO: Quote) closed 6 percent higher at C$152.69 after the company said it would refute allegations it had artificially inflated its revenue on Monday.

The stock has tumbled from above C$300 in recent weeks amid criticism of its drug price hikes and after a short-selling firm raised questions about its strategy and accounting practices.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended the day up 75.55 points, or 0.54 percent, at 13,953.66. Seven of its 10 main groups finished higher.

Monetary easing in China and positive U.S. tech sector earnings both helped sentiment, said Bryden Teich, associate portfolio manager at Avenue Investment Management.

"There's still room for things to move higher," he said. "Some of the negativity from the summer is passing and the world is not ending."

The materials sector gained 4.4 percent after top metals consumer China cut rates to boost its slowing economy. Fertilizer company Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote) gained 2.3 percent to C$28.83.

The heavyweight financial sector climbed 1.8 percent, with Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO: Quote) up 1.7 percent to C$22.44 and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) adding 0.6 percent to C$74.85.   Continued...

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