June 25, 2014 / 1:44 PM / 3 years ago

TSX steady as energy share gains offset weak U.S. data

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014.Mark Blinch

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was little changed on Wednesday as gains in shares of energy producers and Valeant Pharmaceuticals VRX.TO helped overcome the impact of data showing a bigger-than-expected drop in U.S. economic growth in the first quarter.

Figures indicated the U.S. economy recorded its worst performance in five years in the quarter. The market also set aside worries about the situation in Iraq. Militants attacked one of Iraq's largest air bases and seized control of several small oilfields.

The Toronto market, which hit a record closing high last week, is up about 10 percent so far in 2014. Most of the gains have come from the energy sector, which is up about 21 percent since the start of the year.

“The increased geopolitical concerns seem to be helping commodities this month,” said Youssef Zohny, portfolio manager at Stenner Investment Partners, a subsidiary of Richardson GMP.

“The TSX has had a very good run this year," he added. “We expect it to continue to outperform other global markets, but it's likely vulnerable to some profit-taking in the short term."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 12.28 points, or 0.08 percent, at 14,974.65. Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.

Energy shares climbed 0.2 percent, supported by higher U.S. crude oil prices. Suncor Energy Inc SU.TO added 0.3 percent to C$44.70, and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd CNQ.TO rose 0.6 percent to C$48.25.

The industrial sector advanced 0.3 percent. Canadian National Railway Co CNR.TO gained 1.1 percent to C$68.04, and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd CP.TO added 0.9 percent to C$191.58.

In corporate news, Valeant said it had called a special meeting for its shareholders to approve the issue of new shares, another step in its pursuit of Botox maker Allergan Inc AGN.N. Valeant shares jumped 4.3 percent to C$134.93.

Editing by Peter Galloway and Meredith Mazzilli

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