CANADA STOCKS-TSX climbs on upbeat sentiment ahead of Fed meeting

Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:32pm EDT
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* TSX up 131.26 points, or 0.89 percent, at 14,862.76

* Nine of 10 main index sectors advance

* Valeant climbs after increasing offer for Salix

By John Tilak

TORONTO, March 16 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Monday as most major sectors benefited from bullish global equity market sentiment ahead of a crucial U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting later this week.

A gain in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc provided further support and helped overcome a fall in oil and gas shares spurred by lower crude prices.

The rise in shares of the drugmaker came after Salix Pharmaceuticals Inc agreed to Valeant's increased takeover offer of $173 per share cash in a $10.96 billion deal.

Oil prices dropped again as global inventories climbed, with U.S. crude trading at a six-year low.

The advance in the Toronto stock market's benchmark TSX index followed a 1.5 percent drop the previous week, when investors speculated that the Fed might soon opt for an interest rate increase. The U.S. central bank is set to release a statement on Wednesday.   Continued...