March 2, 2015 / 3:48 PM / 3 years ago

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

* 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.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 25.17 points, or 0.17 percent, at 15,259.51. Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.

Shares of energy producers were down 1 percent. Suncor Energy Inc declined 1 percent to C$36.87, and Encana Corp lost 0.7 percent to C$16.18.

The gold-mining sector fell with the bullion price. Goldcorp Inc shed 1.9 percent to C$27.02, and Barrick Gold Corp was down 1.1 percent to C$16.08.

$1=$1.25 Canadian Reporting by John Tilak; Editing by Peter Galloway

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