UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks rise on earnings, Microsoft move

Fri Feb 1, 2008 10:40am EST
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(Adds details, analyst comment)

TORONTO Feb 1 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index rose on Friday morning, lifted by earnings from TransAlta, Sierra Wireless and Celestica as well as Microsoft's blockbuster bid for Yahoo.

TSX tech and energy shares led the rise, emboldened by the prospect that merger activity could ramp up despite tight credit markets.

Software giant Microsoft's (MSFT.O: Quote) $44.6-billion offer for Internet media company Yahoo YHOO.O was the banner story, a proposal that gave a boost to stock markets around the world. For details, see: [nN01391944]

"This rally may be the result of takeover activity, which is great, because it's showing that companies have faith in the future, faith in the valuations that they're paying," said Glenn MacNeill, vice-president of investments at Sentry Select Capital Corp.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE advanced 108.91 points, or 0.8 percent, to 13,264.01. It was up as much as 175 points earlier in the morning.

MacNeill noted there has been recent takeover activity in the TSX energy sector, which rose 1.3 percent on Friday.

Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) climbed C$1.78 to C$96.18 despite declines in crude oil and natural gas futures.

In the tech sector, which was up 1 percent, Sierra Wireless (SW.TO: Quote) jumped C$1.29 to C$16.14 after the company's quarterly profit beat its expectations. For details, see: [nN31366893]   Continued...