June 2, 2014 / 11:35 AM / 3 years ago

China data, Valeant push TSX higher

A sign displaying TSX information is seen in Toronto November 20, 2008.Mark Blinch

TORONTO, (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index climbed on Monday as bullish Chinese economic data helped drive gains in most major sectors, while Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX.TO) rose as it prepared to go hostile with its takeover bid for Allergan Inc (AGN.N).

Official figures showed Chinese factory activity expanded in May at its fastest pace in five months, easing some worries about growth in the world's second-biggest economy.

Prices of copper futures were higher, driving up shares of some mining companies. Energy stocks, which are among the strongest performers this year, climbed despite weakness in the price of oil.

The export-driven Canadian market tends to react to major economic news from China, a big consumer of commodities.

Investors were not looking to take major positions ahead of the monthly U.S. jobs report on Friday, which will off insight on the state of the world's biggest economy.

“It's going to be pretty quiet until the unemployment numbers come in,” said Paul Harris, portfolio manager at Avenue Investment Management.

He expects more strength from the Canadian equity market this year but is not sure if it will outperform the U.S. stock market.

Harris said he was comfortable investing in the energy sector. “Our view is that you can selectively own these companies and do quite well with them.”

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 76.56 points, or 0.52 percent, at 14,680.72. Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.

Shares of energy producers advanced 0.8 percent. Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO) rose 1.3 percent to C$42.04, and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO) was up 0.9 percent at C$44.54.

Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added 0.4 percent, with Toronto Dominion Bank (TD.TO) climbing 0.4 percent to C$53.99.

With copper futures up about 1.3 percent, diversified miner Teck Resources Ltd TCKb.TO gained 1.4 percent to C$24.50.

In corporate news, Valeant prepared to take its $53.8 billion takeover bid for Allergan directly to the Botox maker's shareholders, and ally Pershing Square called for a meeting to turn over the target company's board. Valeant shares jumped 2.7 percent to C$146.17.

Centerra Gold Inc (CG.TO) gave back 19.7 percent, to C$3.70, after the company said it will begin to shut down operations at its Kumtor gold mine in Kyrgyzstan unless its new mine plan is approved by the government and permits are issued by June 13.

Editing by W Simon and Dan Grebler

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