(Adds portfolio manager comment, details, updates prices to close) By Alastair Sharp TORONTO, April 23 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index edged lower on Wednesday, with gains from some big energy producers offset by dips in heavyweight banks and a pullback in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc shares after an acquisition-backed bump.
Suncor Energy Inc gained 2.6 percent to C$41.37 and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd added 0.7 percent to C$32.66 even as record U.S. crude inventories hurt oil prices.
"We have become more favorable on commodity producers (during) these short-term price dislocations," said Philip Petursson of Manulife Asset Management's portfolio advisory group.
Better-than-expected profits reported by Canadian National Railway Co after the close on Tuesday, coupled with an earlier cheery outlook from its chief rival, Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd, failed to keep the railways in positive territory.
"If they can generate the kind of results they did in a very rough quarter weather-wise, it means they are very efficient in terms of their operations and there is that incremental demand out there for goods moving across the country," Petursson said.
Shares in CN slipped 0.3 percent to C$63.38, while CP was off 1.2 percent at C$170.50 after a sharp jump on Tuesday.
Adding to the day's decline, Valeant pulled back 2.8 percent to C$145.25. It had surged on Tuesday after making an unsolicited bid for the maker of Botox.
Fertilizer maker Potash Corp fell 2.4 percent to C$38.35. The sales consortium it is a part of signed a deal with Bangladesh.
Canada's biggest banks added to the declines, as China's economic data disappointed and a bump in domestic retail sales failed to make an impact.
Royal Bank of Canada slipped 0.5 percent to C$72.13, Toronto-Dominion Bank was off 0.4 percent at C$51.64, and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce fell 0.7 percent, to C$95.65.
Reuters reported on Tuesday that CIBC was exploring an offer for global asset manager Russell Investments, according to sources.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended the session down 22.58 points, or 0.16 percent, at 14,533.39. Six of the index's 10 main industry groups were lower.
(Additional reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by G Crosse, Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis)