January 24, 2018 / 9:48 PM / 8 months ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX slips as financials, Valeant and CN Rail weigh

(Adds details on Novagold Resources, updates prices to close)

* TSX closes down 73.34 points, or 0.45 percent, at 16,284.21

* Eight of the index's 10 main groups fall

* Financials fall 0.6 percent

* Valeant slumps 11.6 percent

TORONTO, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index fell on Wednesday, weighed by declines for financial shares, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc and Canadian National Railway Co, while gold-mining stocks were boosted by higher gold prices.

* The largest decliner on the index was Valeant, down 11.6 percent at C$24.51, after Goldman Sachs gave the shares a "sell" rating.

* CN Rail fell 2.1 percent to C$98.01 after reporting a lower-than-expected adjusted profit for the fourth quarter, hurt by the heavy expenses it has incurred to grow its business.

* The financial services sector, which accounts for more than one-third of the index's weight, fell 0.6 percent.

* The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed down 73.34 points, or 0.45 percent, at 16,284.21.

* The energy group dipped 0.3 percent even as oil prices were boosted by a record 10th straight weekly decline in U.S. crude inventories.

* U.S. crude oil futures settled 1.8 percent higher at $65.61 a barrel.

* Eight of the index's 10 main groups lost ground.

* The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added nearly 1 percent.

* Gold prices reached their highest level in more than four months after a U.S. official welcomed a weaker dollar and investors sought insurance against uncertainty.

* Spot gold rose 1.3 percent to 1,358.57 an ounce, while Novagold Resources Inc climbed 8.3 percent to C$5.38 and Yamana Gold Inc advanced 2.5 percent to C$4.54.

* Marijuana producer CanniMed Therapeutics Inc jumped 11.7 percent to C$41.90 after Aurora Cannabis Inc , Canada's second-biggest producer, agreed to buy the company for C$1.1 billion. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Susan Thomas and Peter Cooney)

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