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Dec 18, 2017

TSX moves higher led by Valeant

BNN's closing bell update: December 18, 2017

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Canada's main stock rose on Monday in a broad rally led by big banks and energy stocks as well as Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc, with the index touching a record intraday high before paring some gains.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed up 89.66 points, or 0.56 per cent, at 16,131.64. Its highest intraday was 16,200.81.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (VRX.TO) rose 7.4 per cent to $27.28 after saying that its Bausch + Lomb division began distributing a treatment for glaucoma to U.S. wholesale pharmaceutical distributors.

The energy group climbed 1.5 per cent, with Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO) gaining 1.3 per cent and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO) up 1.9 per cent, even as oil prices fell.

U.S. crude oil futures settled 0.2 per cent lower at US$57.16 a barrel as growth in U.S. crude output cast a shadow over the market.

Canadian oil producers are running out of options to get crude to market as pipeline and rail capacity fills up, driving prices to four-year lows and increasing the risk of firms having to sell cheaply until at least late 2019.

The heavyweight financials group gained 0.4 per cent and industrials rose 0.3 per cent. The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.9 per cent.

Gold futures rose 0.6 per cent to US$1,261.2 an ounce and copper prices advanced 0.7 per cent to US$6,932.5 a tonne.

First Quantum Minerals Ltd (FM.TO) fell 0.4 per cent to $17.06 after the miner said it had acquired an option on a 50 per cent stake in the Pebble copper-gold project in Alaska. The project's owner, Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd (NDM.TO) lost 12.5 per cent to $2.45 after initially jumping.

Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) gained nearly 1 per cent to $3.10. The plane and train maker said its joint venture in China had won a monorail contract worth US$271 million and that it had also won a US$238 million contract in Australia's Melbourne.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the TSX by 183 to 58, for a 3.16-to-1 ratio on the upside.

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