CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits 4-week high, Equinox surges on bid

Mon Apr 4, 2011 10:46am EDT
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* TSX rises 0.74 pct to 14,234.14

* Equinox up 30 pct on takeover bid from China's Minmetals

* Seven sectors advance, led by 2.3 pct rise in materials (Adds details)

TORONTO, April 4 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index climbed to a four-week high on Monday morning, buoyed by a new wave of takeover bids and by rising commodity prices.

A new pair of takeover offers for Canadian mining companies added to other deals in the works offshore and spurred hopes for an expanding merger and acquisition market this year. [ID:nN01283917] [MRG] [MKTS/GLOB]

Shares of Equinox Minerals EQN.TO surged more than 30 percent to C$7.50 after Minmetals Resources 1208.HK, China's biggest metals trading company, made a surprise C$6.3 billion offer to buy the company. [ID:nL3E7F30DI]

The offer is conditional on Equinox dropping its C$4.7 billion bid for Canada's Lundin Mining LUN.TO, which has been the subject of a separate takeover tussle between Equinox and Inmet Mining IMN.TO. Lundin was off 3 percent at C$8.07, while Inmet rose 2.23 percent to C$72.03.

"The hunter (is) becoming the hunted," said Michael Sprung, president at Sprung & Co Investment Counsel. "People are reading into that that there is a wave of consolidation going on in the materials market and I would suspect people also think that will occurring within the energy sector as well."

"You couple that with positive moves in the commodities today, and that's certainly helping to carry the Canadian market upward here."   Continued...