* TSX down 32.10 points, or 0.22 pct, at 14,238.43
* Nine of 10 main sectors lower
* Valeant shares fall as Cephalon rejects bid (Updates with details, comment)
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, April 6 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index retreated on Wednesday morning after a six-day rally, as energy and financial issues led the market lower, while materials gave back strong gains made earlier in the session.
Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) was the most influential decliner, slipping 0.72 percent to C$84.68. It was followed by Suncor Energy (SU.TO), which was down 0.89 percent at C$43.21.
The overall financial sector was off 0.6 percent, while energy issues were down 0.4 percent.
At 10:18 a.m. (1418 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 32.10 points, or 0.22 percent, at 14,238.43, as investors took some profits after a 2.7 percent rise over the previous six sessions.
Nine of the TSX’s 10 main groups were lower, with technology shares the lone advancing sector.
“The market is searching for direction, but the direction still appears to be up,” said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds.
“It is our view at ABC Funds that the market and the economy will continue to saw-tooth their way up. We’ve just got to be mindful of the saw teeth on the way down.”
Energy issues were lower despite crude prices that held near 2-1/2 year highs. Oil prices were underpinned by ongoing upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa and by U.S. dollar weakness ahead ahead of a interest rate hike decision by the European Central Bank. [O/R]
U.S. natural gas futures, however, were lower as milder spring weather was expected to curb demand in coming weeks.
The materials group, home to miners, edged down 0.11 percent, with diversified miner Teck Resources TCKb.TO off 1 percent at C$55.82. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) slipped 0.8 percent to C$51.94.
The group tracked the rest of the index lower after a strong initial start, with mining companies initially lifted by record high gold prices and strong copper, before cashing in gains. [GOL/] [MET/L]
Healthcare shares fell 1.03 percent, dragged lower by a 1.59 percent decline by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX.TO). The stock was at C$51.26 following news that U.S. drug maker Cephalon Inc CEPH.O rejected its $5.7 billion unsolicited takeover bid. [ID:nN05162826]
Michael said the bias on the TSX was still to the up side, with equities expected to drive higher on better than expected earnings, record commodity prices, and a mergers and acquisitions environment that was “alive and well”.
“There’s still a lot of cash out there. Everyone’s been waiting for the market to come off and it really hasn‘t,” he said.
($1=$0.96 Canadian) (Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Rob Wilson)