October 23, 2015 / 1:51 PM / 3 years ago

TSX higher as Valeant bounces, China rate cut helps miners

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Friday as materials stocks cheered a Chinese interest rate cut that boosted prices for base metals, and shares of embattled Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc also bounced.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 85.27 points, or 0.61 percent, to 13,963.38 by 10:21 a.m. ET.

The index was on track for a 1.5 percent gain on the week.

The most influential gainer was Valeant VRX.TO, which rose 7.7 percent to C$155.14 after the company said it would refute allegations it had artificially inflated its revenue.

The stock has tumbled from above C$300 in recent weeks amid criticism of its drug price hikes and after a short-selling firm raised questions about its strategy and accounting practices.

The heavyweight financial sector climbed 2.4 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) up 1.1 percent to C$75.20 and Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO) advanced 1.6 percent to C$22.43.

Materials stocks got a boost as copper and nickel jumped to one-week highs and other base metals also gained after top metals consumer China cut rates to boost its slowing economy. [MET/L]

The group was up 0.9 percent, with First Quantum Minerals Ltd (FM.TO) adding 1.3 percent to C$7.58.

Of the index’s 10 main groups, only energy was lower. The group lost 2.4 percent, as oil prices fell. [O/R]

U.S. crude CLc1 prices were down 2.3 percent to $44.33 a barrel, while Brent crude LCOc1 lost 1.1 percent to $47.54.

Among the heaviest weights was Suncor (SU.TO), which fell 1.3 percent to C$37.62, and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), off 1.5 percent to C$30.70.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the TSX by 144 to 88, for a 1.64-to-1 ratio on the upside.

Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by James Dalgleish

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