Stocks get lift from oils in light action

Mon May 26, 2008 5:02pm EDT
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By Leah Schnurr

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index ended slightly higher in light volume on Monday as the energy sector pushed up amid gains by oil and a report that Talisman Energy TLM.TO could be an acquisition target.

Shares of Talisman climbed C$1.51, or 6.5 percent, to C$24.70 following a newspaper report that Chinese oil firm CNOOC Ltd 0883.HK was considering a bid for the Canadian company or some of its assets.

"Talisman in our view has been an undervalued company," said Michael Sprung, president at Sprung & Co. Investment Counsel.

"We don't find it surprising that people might be taking a look at it -- it's got a very strong balance sheet, good properties and good prospects."

Overall, the energy sector was up 0.5 percent, as oil rose to around $133 a barrel after an attack on a pipeline in Nigeria, while long-term supply concerns remained.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 35.21 points, or 0.24 percent, at 14,758.57 after a day of light action as U.S. and U.K. markets were closed for holidays. All but two of the index's 10 main sectors drifted higher.

Elsewhere in the oil patch, Imperial Oil IMO.TO added 23 Canadian cents, or 0.4 percent, to C$59.09, and Suncor Energy SU.TO rose 90 Canadian cents, or 1.3 percent, to C$71.24.

On the downside, the tech sector dipped 0.3 percent, with MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd MDA.TO off 81 Canadian cents, or 1.9 percent, at C$40.88, and heavyweight Research In Motion RIM.TO sliding 74 Canadian cents, or 0.6 percent, to C$129.06.   Continued...

<p>A Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) logo is seen in Toronto November 9, 2007. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>