CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends lower for 3rd day as Nexen wanes

Wed Dec 3, 2008 4:34pm EST
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* Toronto market down 10.5 percent on week so far

* Nexen leads latest drop as takeover talk wanes (Adds details, comments, updates closing numbers)

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, Dec 3 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index finished lower for a third straight session on Wednesday with energy shares sliding as talk about a possible takeover of Nexen Inc NXY.TO fizzled out.

Nexen, whose shares rallied on Tuesday on talk that it may be acquired by French oil major Total SA (TOTF.PA: Quote), handed back all the gains as speculation waned that a deal would go ahead. The drag on Nexen shares spilled over to the rest of Toronto's energy group.

Shares of Nexen dropped 9.34 percent to C$21.65, while EnCana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote) shares fell 1.97 percent to C$52.88.

London-based banking sources said Total had not secured financing for a potential C$19.7 billion bid for Nexen. That contradicted earlier media reports that said the company had the backing of lenders for a deal.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed down 30.85 points, or 0.37 percent, at 8,296.96 with six of its 10 subindexes finishing lower.

With the lower close, the benchmark index is now down 10.5 percent on the week, with the bulk of the fall occurring on Monday when commodity prices tanked and U.S. economic news was gloomy.   Continued...