CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as BCE-Bell Aliant deal lifts telecom shares
* TSX up 47.94 points, or 0.31 pct, at 15,363.07 * Shares of Bell Aliant, Talisman lead the way higher By Leah Schnurr TORONTO, July 23 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Wednesday, helped by gains in telecom shares after BCE Inc said it would take regional telecom Bell Aliant Inc private by buying the stake it does not already own in the company. Oil and gas shares also rose after a report that Spanish oil company Repsol SA is considering a takeover bid for Talisman Energy Inc . Shares of Bell Aliant and Talisman were the two biggest contributors to the rise of the stock index, which continued to touch record highs. Bell Aliant surged 10.6 percent to C$31.17. Talisman was last up 7.3 percent at C$11.33 before the stock was halted, pending news. BCE, which said it would pay C$3.95 billion ($3.68 billion) to take Bell Aliant private, rose 1 percent to C$49.52. The telecom sector climbed 2 percent. "The volumes are a little better this morning, but propelled by a couple of stories. Without those stories, it's probably pretty drab again," said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC Capital Markets in Toronto The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 47.94 points, or 0.31 percent, at 15,363.07. The TSX was trading around its highs for the session, and has set a series of record highs as it has pushed higher over the past few weeks. "We've had a rotating correction. Financials stalled for a long time and have taken over here in the last month as the energy stocks, which had a pretty good run there, backed off," Hand said. "I would say on balance, that's why we're grinding slightly higher. It's not as if it's straight up, but certain groups have had weeks or months of real outperformance." ($1=$1.07 Canadian) (Editing by Peter Galloway)
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