CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as energy shares, Nexen lead gains

Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:14am EST

* TSX rises 35.03 points, or 0.27 percent, to 12,783.18
    * Nine of 10 main sectors advance
    * Nexen gains 2.1 percent on U.S. regulator approval
    * TransCanada falls 1.3 percent after results

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
climbed on Tuesday, led by the energy sector, which was
supported by higher oil prices and Nexen Inc after U.S.
regulators approved a $15.1 billion takeover of the oil and gas
company.
    Investors also eyed events such as the G7 meeting and the
State of the Union address by President Barack Obama.
    The Group of Seven industrialized nations urged countries to
refrain from competitive devaluations, while the market waited
for this evening's State of the Union address to look for any
signs of lawmakers getting closer to a deal to avert automatic
spending cuts due to take effect on March 1. 
    "The market is very quiet. There are a lot of things that
are up in the air. People are waiting for news," said Irwin
Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds.
     At midmorning, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX
composite index was up 35.03 points, or 0.27 percent,
at 12,783.18. The index briefly turned negative after opening
higher, before moving back into positive territory.
    Calgary, Alberta-based Nexen said the Committee on Foreign
Investment in the United States has approved the takeover of the
company by China's state-owned <CNOOC 0883.HK>, removing the
final barrier to China's largest foreign takeover. Nexen rose
2.1 percent to C$27.50. 
    "People don't want to see too many snags. You want to see
M&A go through," Michael said. "If it does go through, it will
encourage others to come in and look for companies."
    The energy sector, which gained 0.6 percent, was also
supported by higher oil prices. 
    Canadian Natural Resources Ltd rose 1.6 percent to
C$30.99 and played the biggest role of any single stock in
leading the market higher. 
    However, shares of TransCanada Corp slipped 1.3
percent to C$47.61 after it reported a 19 percent fall in
fourth-quarter profit due to lower earnings from its power
business and reduced contributions from some natural gas
pipelines. 
    In other company news, Agrium Inc appointed two
independent directors to its board after the Canadian fertilizer
maker could not come to terms with U.S. activist shareholder
Jana Partners, which wants to break up the company. The stock
fell 0.5 percent to C$114.43. 
    The financial sector, the index's weightiest, added 0.2
percent. Manulife Financial Corp was up 0.7 percent, at
C$15.39.
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