TSX Closes Up 9 Pts After Spending Most of The Day Lower

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The Canadian stock market survived several bouts of selling pressure Friday before ending the day with a nine point gain. It had been down for most of the session. Right from the off, it opened 40 points below Thursday's close, and was still nearly 20 points lower with about half an hour of trading to go.

Market sentiment wasn't helped by lower commodity prices and news out of Chile surrounding both Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) and Silver Wheaton (SLW.TO).

But losses were capped by buying in individual stocks like Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX.TO), National Bank (NA.TO), Manitoba Telecom (MBT.TO) and Niko Resources (NKO.TO).

Among commodities, gold ended Friday down 0.4%, but gained 1.6% this week, as traders took positions ahead of the long U.S. holiday weekend. Oil ended fractionally lower in today's session, with July crude shedding 0.1%, to settle at $94.15 a barrel. Over the week, oil lost about 2% of its value.

Silver Wheaton has been notified by Barrick Gold that Barrick is currently reviewing a resolution that it has received on the Pascua-Lama project by Chile's Superintendent of the Environment. The SMA requires Barrick to complete Pascua-Lama's water management system in accordance with the project's environmental permit before resuming construction activities in Chile and has levied a $16 million fine against Barrick. Silver Wheaton holds a 5% share of the estimated average annual silver production for the first full five years of Pascua-Lama's operation. According to current estimates, this is the equivalent of nine million ounces of silver.

Yet, while industry sectors were mixed, mostly posting either modest gains or losses, the Healthcare sector was the day's standout performer, rising nearly 4%. It was boosted by reports that Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX.TO) is nearing a deal to acquire eye care company Bausch & Lomb Holdings Inc from Warburg Pincus LLC for about $9 billion. VRX was up 13% at $87.02 a share, having earlier hit new year highs of $90.17.

In other positive individual company news, National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) was up about 2% after hiking its quarterly dividend by C$0.04 to C$0.87 per share. The bank also reported adjusted earnings of C$2.08 a share, topping analyst expectations by C$0.10 per share.

Manitoba Telecom (MBT.TO) dialled up nearly 6% in gains and moved nearer a year high $35 after agreeing on the sale of its Allstream unit to a firm co-founded by Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris.

Shares of Niko Resources Ltd. (NKO) jumped near 23% after announcing a gas discovery off the east coast of India.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

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