TSX unable to hold gains despite Talisman takeover surge

Mon Dec 15, 2014 4:44pm EST
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - A surge in shares of takeover target Talisman Energy Inc TLM.TO was not enough to keep Canada's main stock index in the black on Monday after falling more than 5 percent last week, with the broader resource-extraction industries weighing.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended lower after a strong start to the session, which one analyst pointed to as a sign investors are nervous.

"The interesting thing is the capitulation we saw in the middle of the day," said Craig Fehr, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis, Missouri. "It's a clear indication of a lack of conviction in the market."

Shares of Calgary-based Talisman, Canada's fifth-largest independent petroleum producer, jumped 18.5 percent to C$5.97, after Spanish oil major Repsol said it was considering a bid.

Talisman said it had been approached by a number of other parties, and investors said a bidding war was possible.

"I would think there's a good chance that there could be another bid or two actually come in here," John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities.

The Toronto index ended 25.91 points, or 0.19 percent, at 13,705.14. Nineteen of the 20 heaviest weights were energy or mining stocks.

The index, battered by plunging oil prices that have hit domestic energy producers hard, lost more than 5 percent last week, its biggest week-long slip since September 2011.   Continued...

A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) stock information is seen in Toronto June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch