CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises on improved sentiment; Valeant, BlackBerry temper gains

Fri Sep 25, 2015 5:26pm EDT
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(Updates throughout with analyst comment, closing figures, additional details)

* TSX up 39.90 points, or 0.3 percent, to 13,378.57

* Six of the TSX's 10 main groups rise

By Solarina Ho

TORONTO, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index ended higher on Friday as concerns about global growth eased and prospects of a U.S. rate hike before the end of the year improved investor sentiment, but the move failed to offset a volatile week, with the market still losing 2 percent on the week.

The TSX was sharply higher earlier, helped by reassuring comments from Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen, as well as data that showed the U.S. economy, Canada's largest trading partner, expanded more than forecast during the second quarter.

"It's been an unusually volatile month ... (Yellen's) comments yesterday about the likelihood of rates going up this year seems to have given some comfort to the market," said Elvis Picardo, strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.

A fall in BlackBerry Ltd shares, however, helped temper some of the gains. Shares fell 7.7 percent to C$8.64, after the smartphone maker reported weaker-than-expected quarterly results on Friday.

A 4.9 percent tumble in the healthcare sector, precipitated by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, was the biggest contributor to the pull back in the TSX's earlier gains. Shares of the index superweight sank 4.9 percent to C$265.01.   Continued...