CANADA STOCKS-TSX holds gains on golds, Talisman surges

Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:48am EST
 
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 * TSX holds gains, up 0.16 percent at 13,222.71
 * BMO slides after price target cut
 * Talisman rises 3.4 pct after selling stake in gas field
 (Adds details)
 TORONTO, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
pared gains on Monday morning, but was held higher as
gold-mining and energy issues rose on firmer commodity prices.
 Key advancers included miners Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) and
Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote), both up more than 1 percent, as the price of
gold rose for a second straight session on safe-haven flows
driven by tensions in Korea and persistent concern on euro zone
debt.
 Energy shares were also notable early risers but were
losing steam as the price of oil turned lower. Suncor Energy
(SU.TO: Quote) was up 1.13 percent at C$36.71.
 "It's a good day for commodities. It looks like the year is
trying to finish fairly strong," said Michael Sprung, president
at Sprung & Co. Investment Counsel. "It's looking like it's
trying to lean towards the positive side today."
 At 10:27 a.m. (1527 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 21.25 points, or 0.16
percent, at 13,222.71, but down from a session high at
13,262.76. Last week the index lost 0.3 percent.
 Five of the index's 10 main groups were higher, led by a
0.69 percent gain in the energy group, and a 0.4 percent rise
in the materials sector.
 Financials were flat, as broad gains were offset by Bank of
Montreal (BMO.TO: Quote), which fell 2.2 percent to C$56.70 after two
analysts cut price targets on the shares of the country's No. 4
bank. [RCH/CA]
 Talk of stricter oversight over the country's banks may
also weigh bank stocks after their recent rally, Sprung said.
 Uranium One UUU.TO jumped 7.8 percent to C$4.69 after
Raymond James upgraded its rating on shares of the uranium
producer to "outperform" from "market perform".
 Talisman Energy TLM.TO rose 3.4 percent to C$21.60 after
South African energy group Sasol said it would pay $1.05
billion for a 50 percent stake in the independent oil
producer's Farrell Creek shale gas assets. [ID:nLDE6BJ04G]
 "There was certainly some good news from Talisman this
morning, selling that gas field for a lot more money than
people might have thought they would get," Sprung said.
 ($1=$1.02 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)