March 14 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose modestly on Wednesday, boosted by the heavyweight financial sector and shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals after the company’s drug was approved.
* At 10:16 a.m. EDT (1416 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 19.33 points, or 0.12 percent, at 15,666.47.
* Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals jumped 4.1 percent to C$21.72 after Health Canada approved its drug for plaque psoriasis.
* The financials group, which accounts for about a third of the index, rose 0.5 percent. Among the gainers, Royal Bank of Canada climbed 0.6 percent to C$102.44, while Bank of Nova Scotia was up 0.5 percent at C$81.70.
* Energy shares gave up earlier gains even as the price of oil rose following strong Chinese factory data. The sector was down 0.3 percent in mid-morning trading.
* Suncor Energy was one of the biggest drags on the index after the company said its Syncrude oil sands project in northern Alberta would run at reduced rates in the first quarter due to maintenance. Suncor was down 0.6 percent at C$42.03.
* Teck Resources rose 1.8 percent to C$35.59 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 six new 52-week highs and three new lows. Volume on the TSX index was 25.68 million shares. (Reporting by Leah Schnurr in Ottawa; editing by Jonathan Oatis)