TSX slips as financials, Valeant and CN Rail weigh

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Wednesday, weighed by declines for financial shares, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc VRX.TO and Canadian National Railway Co CNR.TO, while gold-mining stocks were boosted by higher gold prices.

FILE PHOTO: A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) stock information is seen in Toronto June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/File Photo

- The largest decliner on the index was Valeant, down 11.6 percent at C$24.51, after Goldman Sachs gave the shares a “sell” rating.

- CN Rail fell 2.1 percent to C$98.01 after reporting a lower-than-expected adjusted profit for the fourth quarter, hurt by the heavy expenses it has incurred to grow its business.

- The financial services sector, which accounts for more than one-third of the index’s weight, fell 0.6 percent.

- The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 73.34 points, or 0.45 percent, at 16,284.21.

- The energy group dipped 0.3 percent even as oil prices were boosted by a record 10th straight weekly decline in U.S. crude inventories.

- U.S. crude oil futures CLc1 settled 1.8 percent higher at $65.61 a barrel.

- Eight of the index’s 10 main groups lost ground.

- The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added nearly 1 percent.

- Gold prices reached their highest level in more than four months after a U.S. official welcomed a weaker dollar and investors sought insurance against uncertainty. [GOL/]

- Spot gold XAU= rose 1.3 percent to 1,358.57 an ounce, while Novagold Resources Inc NG.TO climbed 8.3 percent to C$5.38 and Yamana Gold Inc YRI.TO advanced 2.5 percent to C$4.54.

- Marijuana producer CanniMed Therapeutics Inc CMED.TO jumped 11.7 percent to C$41.90 after Aurora Cannabis Inc ACB.TO, Canada's second-biggest producer, agreed to buy the company for C$1.1 billion.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Susan Thomas and Peter Cooney