* TSX rises 40.87 points, or 0.32 percent, to 12,789.02
* Seven of 10 main sectors advance
* Nexen gains 2 percent on U.S. regulator approval
* TransCanada falls 1.4 percent after results
By John Tilak
TORONTO, Feb 12 Canada's main stock index closed
higher on Tuesday, led by an energy sector supported by higher
oil prices and a gain in Nexen Inc after U.S.
regulators approved a $15.1 billion takeover of the oil and gas
Investors were also focused on events such as the upcoming
G7 meeting and the State of the Union address by President
Barack Obama, who is expected to touch on improving jobs and
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 lawmakers are getting closer to a deal to avert automatic
spending cuts that take effect on March 1.
Calgary, Alberta-based Nexen said the Committee on Foreign
Investment in the United States approved the takeover of the
company by China's state-owned CNOOC Ltd, removing the
final barrier to China's largest foreign takeover. Nexen rose 2
percent to C$27.48.
"People don't want to see too many snags. You want to see
M&A go through," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC
Funds. "If it does go through, it will encourage others to come
in and look for companies."
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
unofficially closed 40.87 points, or 0.32 percent,
higher at 12,789.02. Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index
The energy sector, which gained 1 percent, was also
supported by higher oil prices, which rose on increased
forecasts for demand growth.
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd rose 3.4 percent to
C$31.55 and played the biggest role of any single stock in
leading the market higher.
However, TransCanada Corp shares slipped 1.4
percent to C$47.56 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
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 2 percent to C$112.71.
The financial sector, the index's weightiest, added 0.1
percent. Manulife Financial Corp was up 0.8 percent, at
There is a gradual flow of funds moving toward banks and
asset managers and away from gold stocks and some material
shares, said Sid Mokhtari, market technician and director,
institutional equity research, CIBC World Markets.