CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as Valeant's climb helps offset oil-share drop

Mon Mar 2, 2015 10:45am EST
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* TSX up 25.17 points, or 0.17 percent, at 15,259.51

* Six of the 10 main index sectors advance

By John Tilak

TORONTO, March 2 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was steady on Monday as weakness in shares of energy producers on lower oil prices was offset by a gain in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.

The price of Brent crude dropped after Iran said a deal on its nuclear program could be done this week if the West lifts sanctions, which could boost the country's oil exports.

Valeant shares jumped 2 percent to C$251.21 after recent acquisition moves and helped fuel an advance in the index's healthcare sector.

Trading in the benchmark TSX index has been choppy in recent months because of fluctuations in the price of oil. It is up about 4 percent since the start of the year.

"Markets are going to wander a little here. I don't see any trend up or down, it's going to be sideways," said David Cockfield, managing director and portfolio manager at Northland Wealth Management.

"Our view is we're still going to have fairly volatile markets," he added.   Continued...