February 23, 2015 / 9:59 PM / in 3 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX gains on Valeant news; financial stocks weigh

(Adds details on financial sector, energy sector, investor comment)

* TSX ends up 28.02 points, or 0.18 percent, at 15,200.26

* Six of 10 main index sectors gain

* Valeant shoots up 15 percent on news of takeover deal

By John Tilak

TORONTO, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index edged higher on Monday as weakness in shares of banks and insurers was offset by a surge in Valeant Pharmaceuticals after the drugmaker announced a major acquisition.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc shares shot up 15.1 percent to C$250.13, a day after the company agreed to acquire gastrointestinal drugmaker Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd in an all-cash deal valued at about $10.1 billion.

Meanwhile, a drop in oil prices weighed on the energy sector and banking shares were hit by negative investor sentiment ahead of their earnings reporting season.

Worries about the impact of lower oil prices and fears that the Canadian economy is slowing down have contributed to the bearish mood on the banking sector.

“I‘m not bullish on the banks. They have a lot of headwinds,” said Marcus Xu, portfolio manager and president at M.Y. Capital Management Corp in Vancouver. “There’s going to be less activity on lending, less M&A maybe and then we’ve had this Bank of Canada interest rate cut.”

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended 28.02 points, or 0.18 percent, higher at 15,200.26. Six of the ten main sectors gained as the index bucked a three-day slip.

Financials, the index’s most heavily weighted sector, fell 1 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada down 1.2 percent at C$75.13 and Toronto-Dominion Bank lost 0.8 percent to C$53.54. Insurers also slipped, with Manulife Financial Corp off 1.4 percent at C$21.73 and Sun Life Financial Inc down 2.5 percent at C$38.46.

Shares of energy companies shed 0.6 percent, as the price of crude fell amid oversupply concerns. Pipeline companies were hit hardest in the sector, with Enbridge Inc off 1 percent at C$61.21 and TransCanada Corp down 0.8 percent to C$55.12. (Additional writing by Alastair Sharp; editing by Nick Zieminski and Diane Craft)

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