CANADA STOCKS-TSX eases, mixed earnings offset TMX deal

Wed Feb 9, 2011 10:59am EST
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* TSX down slightly, off 0.09 percent at 13,879.9

* TMX shares surge on potential LSE tie-up

* Six sectors advance but materials weigh

* WestJet jumps 8.5 pct as earnings double (Adds details)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was slightly lower on Wednesday morning as a gain in TMX Group (X.TO: Quote) shares on a proposed deal for the London Stock Exchange to buy the owner of the Toronto Stock Exchange was balanced by mixed earnings reports and some declining commodity prices.

At 10:32 a.m. (1532 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 12.61 points, or 0.09 percent, at 13,879.91, but still not far off the 2-1/2 year high of 13,909.84 that it hit on Tuesday.

Shares of TMX Group jumped more than 11 percent to C$45 on news that it is in advanced talks to be taken over by the LSE to create the world's fourth-largest stock exchange operator and a top centre for trading mining and energy shares. TMX also said on Wednesday that it swung to a profit in the fourth quarter from a year-earlier loss. [ID:nTZO9DE7MM] [ID:nLDE71808S]

"The big story doesn't have much impact on the S&P/60 (blue-chip index)," said Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada in Montreal, noting that market players were watching whether the TMX deal develops into "another Potash story." Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote) was a big takeover target last year, but Ottawa blocked BHP Billiton's hostile bid for the Canadian fertilizer producer.   Continued...