CANADA STOCKS-TSX steady as Agrium jump offsets energy dip

Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:38am EDT
 
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* TSX up 6.28 points, or 0.04 percent, at 14,493.11
    * Seven of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Agrium up 6.5 percent after ValueAct stake revealed

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
little changed on Friday as shares of Agrium Inc jumped
after an activist investor revealed it has a stake in the
company, offsetting a drop in oil prices that pulled energy
producers lower. 
    Broad market sentiment, however, was dampened by news of a
doctor testing positive for the Ebola virus in New York City.
 
    Agrium gained 6.5 percent after hedge fund ValueAct Capital
disclosed it had bought a 5.7 percent stake in the fertilizer
maker. 
    The market is on track to record one of its strongest weeks
of the year. It is up about 6 percent since reaching an
eight-month low last week. 
    "The markets have had a pretty nice run," said Colin
Cieszynski, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.
    "We're still looking pretty volatile here. We will continue
to see volatility over the next few weeks," he said. "The TSX is
likely to be impacted by swings in commodity prices."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 6.28 points, or 0.04 percent, at 14,493.11.
Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Shares of energy producers shed 1.1 percent, with oil prices
dropping in choppy trade. Suncor Energy Inc gave back
1.5 percent to C$38.42, and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd
 fell 1.4 percent to C$38.99.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added
0.3 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia advanced 0.7 percent
to C$68.12, and Bank of Montreal climbed 0.4 percent to
C$81.56.
    ($1=$1.12 Canadian)

 (Editing by Peter Galloway)