CANADA STOCKS-TSX boosted by stronger oil; MDA satellite deal

Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:16pm EDT

* TSX up 76.52 points, or 0.68 percent, at 11,410.94
    * Energy stocks rise with U.S. crude
    * Fertilizer producers rise on corn crop worries

    By Allison Martell
    TORONTO, June 27 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
closed stronger on Wednesday, led by gains in energy shares as
oil prices rose, with investors looking ahead to a critical
European Union debt crisis summit on Thursday and Friday.
    Although few expected the EU summit to resolve the region's
escalating debt woes there was faint hope for small progress.
 
    "We're all waiting to see what happens with the European
summit, whether something constructive or useful can be done,
and as a result of that I think people are being fairly cautious
in their trading," said David Baskin, portfolio manager and
president of Baskin Financial Services.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 76.52 points, or 0.68 percent, at 11,410.94.
    MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd (MDA), which
soared 28.3 percent to C$57.25, had the biggest percentage gain
of any stock in the index and helped to lead it higher.
    MDA's stock rose after it agreed to buy Loral Space &
Communications Inc's satellite manufacturing
subsidiary, a deal MDA said will immediately boost its earnings.
 
    "The MacDonald Dettwiler acquisition ... has given it a big
boost," said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC Capital
Markets. "I think that's the only spot in the market where there
has been any real enthusiasm, everything else is pretty
marginal."
    Hand said the market was relatively quiet ahead of the long
weekend in Canada. The market will be closed on Monday for
Canada Day.

    ENERGY COMPANIES LEAD GAINS        
    Oil and gas stocks, up 1.7 percent, played the biggest role
of any sector in lifting the Toronto index.
    Crude oil futures rose on tighter North Sea supplies and
strong U.S. economic data. Prices briefly extended gains after
U.S. government data showed crude and distillate stocks fell
last week.  
    Suncor Energy rose 1.8 percent to C$28.24. In the
financial group, Toronto-Dominion Bank was 1.1 percent
higher at C$79.10. The two stocks played the biggest role in
pulling the index higher.
    Shares of fertilizer producers also rose as U.S. new-crop
corn futures hit a nine-month high as operators worried about
damage to corn from hot, dry weather in the Midwest grain belt.
 
    Fertilizer stocks typically track the price of
fertilizer-intensive corn closely as higher grain prices are
likely to spur farmers to increase use of crop nutrients. Potash
Corp rose 1.7 percent to C$44.28. 
    The index's heavyweight materials sector, which includes
gold miners and fertilizer stocks, edged up 0.2 percent. Gold
rose slightly in quiet trading, reversing from early losses.
 
    In other company news, Kyrgyzstan's parliament said it will
review a contract with Centerra Gold Inc for its Kumtor
gold mine, but a resolution to nationalize the mine was
rejected. The company's stock closed down 1.7 percent at C$9.88.
 
    The chief executive of TransCanada Corp said a new
line to carry oil sands crude to Canada's Atlantic coast could
also serve markets in Europe and the U.S. Eastern Seaboard. Its
shares closed up 2.1 percent at C$42.14.
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