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 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 was a big takeover target last year, but Ottawa blocked BHP Billiton's hostile bid for the Canadian fertilizer producer.   Continued...