CANADA STOCKS-TSX gains on gold miners and TMX; oils drag
* TSX up 14.19 points, or 0.11 percent, to 13,391.35
* Rise in two big groups offset eight down sectors
* TMX jumps but below offer price after bank-led LSE bid
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By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, May 16 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index pressed higher on Monday, helped by gold miners and financial shares, which offset the drag from energy issues that tracked falling crude and gasoline prices.
Financial shares, which make up almost a third of the index, rose 0.26 percent, bolstered by news of a C$3.6 billion ($3.7 billion) homegrown takeover proposal for Toronto Stock Exchange operator, TMX Group (X.TO: Quote).
The new offer is higher than the London Stock Exchange's (LSE.L: Quote) competing bid for TMX Group. [ID:nN16294406] [ID:nN16280006]
All six of the big Canadian banks were higher, with Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) gaining 0.66 percent to C$82.24, while National Bank of Canada (NA.TO: Quote) rose 0.79 percent to C$79.90.
TMX Group jumped 5.51 percent to C$44.05, though the stock was still below the C$48-a-share bid proposed by the Canadian bank and pension fund consortium.
"The real feature was the TMX Group which traded up on the bid by the banks and pension funds," said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada.
"There is speculation now that the London Stock Exchange and the TMX will have to come back and counter that bid."
Gold-mining shares remained aloft even as gold prices gyrated near the unchanged level. [GOL/]
Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) advanced 2.12 percent to C$47.26, while Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) edged up 0.83 percent to C$43.99. The index's global gold subgroup advanced 0.91 percent.
Along with gold miners, other constituents of the index's materials group, up 0.92 percent, were also higher. Fertilizer producer Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote) rose 2.24 percent to C$51.04 while First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO: Quote) climbed 4.6 percent to 128.76.
"The commodities have had such a rout. I don't know if this is partly short-covering," said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier, noting the economic landscape is still very fragile.
"But short-covering is different than coming in and buying long ... on these commodity stocks. Unless you have a particular story, it could still be a tough slug through the end of summer."
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed 14.19 points higher, or 0.11 percent, to 13,391.35.
Eight of the index's remaining groups were lower, but with two of its three powerhouse sectors -- materials and financials -- making up more than 50 percent of the weight, it was able to offset those losses.
Energy stocks were down 0.66 percent, reversing earlier gains. Canadian Oil Sands COS.TO slumped 4 percent to C$29.74, while Imperial Oil (IMO.TO: Quote) slipped 0.6 percent to C$33.88. Four of the five main draggers on the main index were energy stocks.
Gasoline futures tumbled nearly 5 percent and knocked down crude prices $2 on signs of weakening demand. Oil has fallen more than 15 percent this month on mounting worries about energy demand and the economy. [O/R]
"It was sort of a mixed bag ... There are seasonal influences at work," said Ing. "Looks like the commodity stocks -- they tried to rally early last week and it failed, so we might have to have another washup, but I think the worse is by and large over."
($1=$0.97 Canadian) (Additional reporting by Ka Yan Ng; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)
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