CANADA STOCKS-TSX edges up as banks offset concerns over Iraq, Fed

Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:43pm EDT
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* TSX up 15.46 points, or 0.10 percent, at 15,055.89
    * Seven of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Energy shares slip with U.S. crude oil price

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, June 17 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose
slightly on Tuesday as strength in the financial sector helped
overcome worries about the volatile situation in Iraq and
nervousness about the outcome of this week's Federal Reserve
policy meeting.
    Investors digested news that Iraqi Shi'ite rulers spurned
Western calls to reach out to Sunnis to defuse the uprising in
the north of the country and weighed the prospect of a
disruption in oil supply. 
    The market also speculated on whether the Fed, whose two-day
meeting will close on Wednesday, will accelerate the pace of
withdrawal from its stimulus program and when the U.S. central
bank might increase interest rates. 
    "Investors are preoccupied with what the Fed is going to say
tomorrow," said Adrian Mastracci, portfolio manager at KCM
Wealth Management.
    "I'm not expecting a surprise of any sort. I would expect
Yellen not to rock the boat," he added, referring to Fed Chair
Janet Yellen.
    The Canadian market has climbed 12 of the last 13 sessions.
It is up more than 10 percent this year and has gained more than
most other major stock indexes.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 15.46 points, or 0.10 percent, at 15,055.89.
Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector,
climbed 0.3 percent. Royal Bank of Canada added 0.1
percent to C$75.18, and Toronto Dominion Bank advanced
0.5 percent to C$54.59.
    Shares of energy producers gave back 0.6 percent, reflecting
weakness in the price of U.S. crude oil. Suncor Energy
Inc lost 0.9 percent to C$46.32, and Canadian Natural
Resources Ltd slipped 0.7 percent to C$47.35.
    In corporate news, Valeant Pharmaceuticals Inc said
it will launch an exchange offer for Allergan Inc this
week, allowing it to eventually take its unsolicited bid
directly to shareholders. Valeant's stock was up 1.2 percent, at

 (Editing by Leslie Adler)