March 14, 2018 / 12:00 PM / 6 months ago

Toronto stocks flat as banks and Valeant lend support

(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index was little changed on Wednesday as gains among banks and shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc were offset by declines in the energy sector.

Businessmen pass the Toronto Stock Exchange sing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada July 6, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

* The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index finished up 6.47 points, or 0.04 percent, at 15,653.61.

* Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals jumped 5.4 percent to C$21.98 after Health Canada approved its drug for plaque psoriasis.

* The financials group, which accounts for about a third of the index gained 0.1 percent. Among the gainers, Bank of Nova Scotia rose 0.7 percent to C$81.88, while Bank of Montreal edged up 0.3 percent at C$98.36.

* But a 0.3 percent retreat in the energy sector sector dampened the overall market. Suncor Energy Inc was one of the biggest drags on the index, down 0.3 percent at C$42.16 after the company said its Syncrude oil sands project in northern Alberta would run at reduced rates in the first quarter due to maintenance.

* Elsewhere, Teck Resources rose 1.5 percent to C$35.49 after India’s Steel Minister said state-owned Steel Authority of India was in talks with Teck for long-term purchase agreements.

* The TSX posted seven new 52-week highs and five new lows. Volume on the TSX index was 167.11 million shares.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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