* TSX ends down 67.88 points, or 0.48 pct, at 14,202.65
* Seven of 10 main sectors lower
* Valeant shares fall as Cephalon rejects bid
* Portugal debt woes weigh on investor sentiment (Updates with analyst comment, closing levels)
By Jeffrey Hodgson
TORONTO, April 6 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index closed lower on Wednesday, ending six straight sessions of gains, with energy and other resource issues leading the decline even as commodity prices largely rose or held steady.
Market watchers said signs of fresh sovereign debt problems in Europe were among the factors weighing on sentiment. Portugal’s caretaker government said it had decided to seek financing from the European Union, becoming the third euro zone member to seek a financial rescue. [ID:nLDE7350HL]
Suncor Energy (SU.TO), down 1.93 percent to C$42.76, was the most influential decliner, with peers Imperial Oil Ltd (IMO.TO) and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) also weighing on the index.
Energy stocks fell even though U.S. crude futures ended at their highest level in 2-1/2 years on Wednesday, boosted by supply worries due to turmoil in Libya and the Middle East. [O/R]
“Oil’s been pushed to levels that people are starting to worry about whether it could start impinging on the economic recovery ... You’ve got Portugal back in the news, so we’ve got the European debt situation starting to come up,” said Rick Hutcheon, president of RKH Investments.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 67.88 points, or 0.48 percent, at 14,202.65. Seven of the TSX’s 10 main groups were lower, with energy stocks dropping 1.21 percent.
While oil was stronger. U.S. natural gas futures ended lower for a fourth straight day, with comfortable supplies and moderate U.S. weather forecasts driving the front-month contract below key chart support. [ID:nN06249394]
Healthcare shares fell 1.9 percent, dragged lower by a 3.34 percent decline by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX.TO). The stock ended at C$50.35, following news that U.S. drug maker Cephalon Inc CEPH.O had rejected its $5.7 billion unsolicited takeover bid. [ID:nN05162826]
($1=$0.96 Canadian) (Editing by Rob Wilson)