September 12, 2016 / 3:07 PM / 10 months ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX slips; Potash-Agrium merger, Open Text deal limit loss

3 Min Read

(Updates prices)

* TSX down 13.62 points, or 0.09 percent, to 14,526.38

* Half of the TSX's 10 main groups move higher

* Financial stocks weigh as global indices fall

TORONTO, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index slipped on Monday as banks fell with a retreat in overseas equities markets, but losses were cushioned by companies gaining on domestic merger activity.

Open Text Corp soared 7.8 percent to C$84.02 after the software company said it had agreed to buy Dell-EMC's enterprise content division for $1.62 billion.

Potash Corp rose 1.7 percent to C$22.51 after agreeing to merge with Agrium Inc in a deal that would create a fertilizer giant with an enterprise value of about $36 billion but could draw scrutiny from U.S regulators.

Agrium rose initially before turning negative and was last down 0.9 percent at C$123.01.

The broader index was slightly lower despite the deal-inspired gains, hurt by bearish sentiment stoked by Asian stocks suffering their sharpest setback since June and European stocks falling as much as 2 percent.

The overseas selling was fed by concern that the U.S. Federal Reserve may hike interest rates next week and that the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan may be slowing their monetary policy easing efforts.

At 10:41 a.m. EDT (1441 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 13.62 points, or 0.09 percent, to 14,526.38. It had briefly broken into positive territory earlier.

Half of the index's 10 main groups were in positive territory, although decliners were outnumbering gainers by 1.8-to-1.

The heavyweight financials group fell 0.6 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada down 0.6 percent at C$80.21 and Bank of Nova Scotia off 0.8 percent to C$69.20.

The energy group made a slight gain as oil prices rose despite speculators delivering hefty cuts to their bullish bets last week and U.S. crude drillers adding more rigs for a tenth week running.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners as well as fertilizer companies, added 1.2 percent. (Reporting by Alastair Sharp Editing by W Simon)

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