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The lobby of National Bank of Canada on King Street in Toronto. (Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail)
The lobby of National Bank of Canada on King Street in Toronto. (Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail)

At the open: Miners, mixed bank earnings push TSX lower Add to ...

The Toronto stock market was lower Wednesday amid pressure from the mining sector and mixed earnings reports from two of the big Canadian banks.

The S&P/TSX composite index gave back 39 points to 14,619.02.

Bank of Montreal reported higher second-quarter net income of $1.1-billion, up 12 per cent from a year ago. Earnings per share in the quarter were $1.60, up from $1.40 year-over-year. Adjusted earnings per share were $1.63, up 13 per cent from the same quarter last year and 10 cents ahead of estimates. The bank is raising its dividend by two cents to 78 cents per common share. Its shares rose a slight three cents to $76.83 but BMO’s shares are up three per cent from a week ago when the big banks started to post quarterly results.

And, after the close Tuesday, National Bank reported second-quarter net income of $362-million, down 13 per cent from a year ago. On an adjusted basis, earnings were $1.05 a share, a penny higher than analyst estimates. However, revenue of $1.28-billion missed expectations of $1.34-billion. It also said its quarterly dividend will be going up by four per cent but its shares fell 83 cents to $46.20.

The Canadian dollar was up 0.06 of a cent at 92.13 cents (U.S.).

U.S. indexes were mainly lower amid a quiet day for economic news as the Dow Jones industrials shed 16.56 points to 16,658.94, the Nasdaq dipped 2.89 points to 4,234.18 while the S&P 500 index was ahead 0.9 of a point to 1,912.81.

New York markets finished positive Tuesday amid improving consumer confidence figures, but Toronto registered a loss led by the gold sector as bullion prices closed at their lowest level in almost three months.

Meanwhile, Valeant Pharmaceuticals shares gave back $5.54 to $135.50 as the company upped the cash portion its hostile takeover offer for Botox maker Allergan by $10 to $58.30 (U.S.) a share. The stock portion of the offer remains the same at 0.83 of a Valeant share, valuing the proposal at $162.86 per share or almost $50-billion total.

Valeant made its initial bid along with activist investor Bill Ackman. The investor’s Pershing Square Capital Management LP holds a 9.7 per cent stake in Allergan.

Meanwhile, Nestle says it is paying $1.4-billion in cash to Valeant for the rights to sell lip and wrinkle treatment Restylane and other skin products in the U.S. and Canada. The other products are Perlane, Emervel, Dysport and Sculptra, used to reduce wrinkles or address other issues in different areas of the face. Nestle already had the rights to the products outside the U.S. and Canada.

The gold sector led decliners for a second day, down 1.1 per cent while June gold was off $1.20 at $1,264.30 (U.S.) an ounce.

July copper was unchanged at $3.18 a pound and the base metals component lost 0.5 per cent.

The energy sector was off 0.08 per cent while July crude in New York slipped 25 cents to $103.86 a barrel.

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