Teck equity sale pushes TSX to higher close

Fri Jul 3, 2009 5:27pm EDT
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By Nina Lex

TORONTO (Reuters) -Toronto's main stock index closed higher on Friday as Teck Resources Ltd's TCKb.TO equity sale to China Investment Corp helped lift the resource-heavy market, but trading volumes were thin due to the Independence Day holiday in the United States.

Teck said it will sell a 17.2 percent stake in the company to state-owned CIC through a private placement that will raise C$1.74 billion ($1.5 billion). The deal will help Teck pay down debt, while expanding China's portfolio of commodity investments.

The TSX index's materials sector climbed 0.92 percent with Teck shares, a top gainer, up 8.05 percent at C$19.99. Elsewhere in the sector, Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc POT.TO rose 1.98 percent to C$113.30, while Barrick Gold ABX.TO climbed 0.15 percent to C$39.71.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed 37.19 points, or 0.36 percent, higher at 10,283.10. Nine of its 10 sectors were up, with only energy dropping. The index was down 1.02 percent for the week.

The blue chip S&P/TSX 60 index .TSE60 closed 2.20 points, or 0.35 percent, higher at 623.32.

"With the American market closed, the market is very thin. A lot of Canada accounts probably didn't even show up today given that the Americans were closed," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds. "It just sort of drifted."

The index's financial group was up 0.82 percent after falling for two straight sessions. Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO climbed 1.47 percent to C$59.49, and Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO rose 1.54 percent to C$43.40.

Weighing on the market was the big energy sector, down 0.66 percent, as oil slipped under $66 a barrel on Friday after Thursday's U.S. unemployment data hardened views that economic weakness would sap energy demand and that last month's oil rally was overdone.   Continued...

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