* Seven of 10 main index sectors decline
* Valeant shoots up 14.6 percent on news of takeover deal
By John Tilak
TORONTO, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index slipped on Monday as shares of energy companies were pulled lower by weakness in oil prices, offsetting a surge in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc after the drugmaker announced a major acquisition.
Another drag on the market was a drop in shares of Canadian banks ahead of their earnings reporting season. Concerns about the impact of lower oil prices and worries about a slowing Canadian economy have contributed to the negative sentiment.
Valeant shares shot up 14.6 percent, a day after the company agreed to acquire gastrointestinal drugmaker Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd in an all-cash deal valued at about $10.1 billion.
The benchmark TSX was down for a fourth straight session, though the index is still up more than 3 percent so far this month.
“We’re into a resistance zone here,” said David Cockfield, managing director and portfolio manager at Northland Wealth Management. “A little sideways moment, maybe even a drift down, is probably justified here.”
“It’s very hard to get enthused about the Canadian market,” he added. “I can’t see anything that’s going to light a fire now.”
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 17.19 points, or 0.11 percent, at 15,155.05. Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were in the red.
Financials, the index’s most heavily weighted sector, fell 1.2 percent. Royal Bank of Canada gave back 1.7 percent to C$74.70, and Toronto Dominion Bank lost 1.2 percent to C$53.30.
Shares of energy producers shed 1.6 percent, with the price of U.S. crude down 3.4 percent in volatile trade. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd declined 2.7 percent to C$36.50, and Suncor Energy Inc was down 0.3 percent at C$38.36.
Valeant’s jump, to C$249.05, helped fuel a 4.8 percent gain in the healthcare sector. (Editing by Nick Zieminski)