CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises to 2-wk high, resources main lift

Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:52pm EDT
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* TSX rises 0.87 percent to 10,304.42, up for 4th day

* Materials up 1.4 pct, supported by takeover talk

* Nexen weighs but energy sector pushes ahead (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, closing at a two-week high, 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 by fertilizer stocks.

Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote), the biggest heavyweight gainer, rose 4.44 percent to C$102.33, while Agrium (AGU.TO: Quote) rose 5.4 percent to C$45.14.

The sector got a boost from a Sao Paulo newspaper report that said Brazil's Vale (VALE5.SA: Quote) (VALE.N: Quote), the world's largest iron ore miner, may bid for fertilizer producer Mosaic Co (MOS.N: Quote).

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