CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as bank shares offset Valeant gain

Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:50pm EST
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* TSX ends down 8.09 points, or 0.05 percent, at 15,172.24

* Seven of 10 main index sectors advance

By John Tilak

TORONTO, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index ended little changed on Friday as a drop in bank shares ahead of their earnings season helped offset a gain in shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.

Bearish sentiment gained momentum as Canadian banks prepared to reported quarterly results next week. Sluggish retail sales data also weighed.

Further, a decline in the energy sector, following weakness in the price of oil , put pressure on the market.

"It's going to take many months for the broader implications of the oil price collapse to play out," said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver.

"For the time being, we're going to see volatility in crude oil prices and energy producers," he added.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed down 8.09 points, or 0.05 percent, at 15,172.24. Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.   Continued...