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TSX Nudges Higher As Legal Pot Clears House -- Canadian Commentary

Canadian stocks rose Monday, trimming last week's losses after the cannabis legalization law cleared a major hurdle.

Legal pot passed the House of Commons and is headed for a Senate vote.

Marijuana stocks were higher, helping the TSX Composite Index up 69.21 points to 16,383.63.

Energy stocks also rebounded as crude oil futures steadied.

July West Texas Intermediate crude added 79 cents, or 1.2%, to settle at $65.85 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. OPEC's big meeting in Vienna will be closely eyed later in the week.

Magna International Inc. (MG.TO) will form two new joint ventures with Beijing Electric Vehicle Co. Ltd (BJEV) for complete vehicle manufacturing as well as engineering of electric vehicles for customers in China. Shares were up fractionally.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX.TO) is set to fall after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration failed to approve the company's lotion for plaque psoriasis. Shares were down sharply.

Baytex Energy Corp. (BTE) and Raging River Exploration Inc. (RRX.TO) announced their respective boards have unanimously agreed to a strategic combination of the two companies. Shares tumbled 12 percent.

AutoCanada Inc. (ACQ.TO) said that its board appointed a Special Committee of independent directors to review strategic alternatives.

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