November 30, 2012 / 9:59 PM / 6 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX gain as Nexen jumps, U.S. budget talks eyed

* TSX ends up 36.51 points, or 0.3 percent, at 12,239.36
    * Eight of 10 sectors firmer; Nexen rises 5 pct
    * Index ends week up 0.2 pct, falls 1.5 pct for month

    By Claire Sibonney
    TORONTO, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Canadian shares edged up on
Friday, in thin and choppy month-end trading, as investors clung
to hopes that U.S. politicians would reach a fiscal deal before
the end of the year, and as Nexen Inc jumped on signs
that a takeover of the company may be approved.
    Energy producer Nexen was one of the top advancers, climbing
nearly 5 percent to C$24.39. A Canadian cabinet figure known to
have reservations about CNOOC Ltd's bid to buy Nexen
said that at least some of Canada's concerns about getting
reciprocal treatment from China had been addressed by an
investment pact. 
    Nexen shares had been under pressure this week because of a
possible delay in the U.S. regulatory approval process, but the
Canadian government signaled late on Thursday that the U.S.
deliberations would not affect Canada's review.
    Despite the positive signals for the Nexen deal, seen as a
litmus test for foreign investment policy in Canada, broader
moves in the market were limited as investors remained cautious
over the U.S. budget impasse.
    U.S. President Barack Obama and top Republicans remained at
odds about how to avert going over the "fiscal cliff," a series
of tax hikes and spending cuts next year that could push the
economy into recession.
    Obama accused a "handful of Republicans" in the U.S. House
of Representatives of holding up legislation to extend tax cuts
for middle-class Americans in order to try to preserve them for
the wealthy.
    "When you look at the fiscal cliff I think there's no other
way around it. They might push it right up to the edge and maybe
a little bit over and play brinkmanship, but they will come to
an agreement," said Arthur Salzer, chief executive officer of
Northland Wealth Management. "There's a lot of posturing. 
    "When you get these kinds of deleveraging cycles, tax rates
do go up ... interest rates stay low and the wealthy don't get
wealthy as fast anymore."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 ended up 36.51 points, or 0.3 percent, at 12,239.36.
Eight of the 10 sectors finished on firmer ground.
    The TSX ended the week up 0.2 percent, but for the month
lost 1.5 percent.
    Among the bigger gainers on Friday, Bank of Nova Scotia
 rose 1.4 percent to C$56.00, Royal Bank of Canada
 edged up 0.5 percent to C$58.90 and TransCanada Corp
 added 1.5 percent to C$45.98. 
    "I think a lot of people are glad that the month of November
is over," said Bruce Latimer, trader at Dundee Securities. "The
volumes have kind of waned the last few days. Kind of makes you
feel that a lot of these stocks are fairly priced where they are
right now." 
    Also helping to lift sentiment, German lawmakers approved
the latest bailout for Greece on Friday by a large majority,
despite growing unease about the cost to taxpayers less than a
year before federal elections.
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