CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises for 4th straight day, resources lead

Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:02pm EDT
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* TSX rises 0.87 percent to 10,304.42, up for 4th day

* Materials rise 1.4 pct, supported by takeover talk (Adds closing figures, quotes)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, July 16 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index finished higher for a fourth-straight session on Thursday, as firmer commodity prices boosted the heavyweight resource sectors.

Takeover talk in the potash patch and rising gold prices encouraged strength in the materials group, which rose 1.4 percent, spurring gains in Canadian fertilizer stocks.

Potash Corp POT.TO, the biggest heavyweight gainner, rose 4.44 percent to C$102.33, while Agrium AGU.TO rose 5.4 percent to C$45.14.

A Brazilian newspaper reported Brazil's Vale VALE5.SA VALE.N, the world's largest iron ore miner, may bid for the fertilizer company Mosaic Co MOS.N.

Meanwhile, a number of other companies have been scouting for potash assets, and earlier on Thursday Canada's Athabasca Potash Inc API.TO said it is exploring a possible sale of all or part of the company. [ID:nBNG199332]

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 88.96 points, or 0.87 percent, at 10,304.42. Nine of the TSX's 10 main groups were higher, including the energy group, which rose 0.89 percent. (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)