CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises slightly as Valeant continues advance
* TSX rises 14.21 points, or 0.10 percent, to 13,611.14 * Seven of the 10 main index sectors advance * Valeant jumps 3.6 percent, up for second day * Gold miners drop 1.2 percent with bullion trading lower By John Tilak TORONTO, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was slightly higher on Wednesday as a jump in the shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc helped overcome weakness in the index's materials and financial sectors. Valeant advanced for a second straight day, rising 3.6 percent, after the drugmaker said on Tuesday it plans to become one of the world's top five pharmaceutical companies by market capitalization by the end of 2016 and also released a bullish forecast for 2014. The Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark index traded in positive territory for a second straight day after declining in the first three sessions of 2014. "The market is directionless by and large. I'm expecting it to be up and down for the next several weeks, if not months," said John Stephenson, senior vice president at First Asset Investment Management Inc. "The bigger story here is the United States doing much better, with Canada tagging along, and Europe not being as much of a problem as it has been in the past years," he added. "That's a good backdrop for us." Investors also digested a bullish U.S. private jobs report, ahead of nonfarm payrolls data set for release on Friday. Figures from payrolls processor ADP on Wednesday showed U.S. private employers added a more jobs than expected in December, posting the strongest increase in 13 months. "The ADP number portends well for Friday's jobs report, which will be the most closely watched piece of news on both sides of the border," Stephenson said. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 14.21 points, or 0.10 percent, at 13,611.14. Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher. Valeant's jump, to C$139.90, helped push the healthcare sector up 1.6 percent. Financials slipped 0.1 percent, with Toronto-Dominion Bank losing 0.4 percent to C$97.51. Gold-mining shares dropped 1.2 percent, pulled lower by a declining bullion price. Barrick Gold Corp was down 1.7 percent at C$19.33, and Goldcorp Inc gave back 1.7 percent to C$23.70.
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