October 8, 2013 / 3:00 PM / in 7 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX advances on U.S. debt hopes, Talisman

* TSX rises 26.51 points, or 0.21 percent, to 12,815.76
    * Eight of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Talisman gains on Icahn stake
    * Manitoba Telecom falls after government rejects unit sale

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index climbed
on Tuesday, boosted by hopes of a resolution to the U.S. debt
crisis and a rise in Talisman Energy Inc after activist
investor Carl Icahn disclosed a stake in the company.
    Talisman shares jumped in early trade before paring some of
those gains to trade up about 1.5 percent. Late on Monday, Icahn
said he had purchased about 61 million shares of the
underperforming oil producer and may seek a seat on the
company's board. 
    Investors appeared more optimistic after signals of progress
emerged in the U.S. fiscal standoff, from both Congress and the
White House, with President Barack Obama saying he would accept
a short-term increase in the country's borrowing authority to
avoid a default. 
    The Toronto market also appeared less worried about the debt
crisis, extending its gains to a third straight session.
    The market is not pricing in a worst-case scenario and is
seeing a solution somewhat soon, but that's a reasonable
expectation, said David Cockfield, managing director and
portfolio manager at Northland Wealth Management.
    "Nobody is totally panicked," he said. "In the meantime, you
sit on your hands."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 26.51 points, or 0.21 percent, at 12,815.76.
    Cockfield expects the benchmark index to reach 13,500 by the
end of the year. 
    Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector,
climbed 0.2 percent. Royal Bank of Canada, the country's
biggest lender, gained 0.2 percent to C$66.64.
    Energy shares benefited from rising oil prices. Canadian
Natural Resources Ltd added 1.2 percent to C$32.55,
having the biggest positive influence on the index. Encana Corp
 climbed 1.1 percent to C$17.86, and Talisman was up at
    With the price of bullion rising, shares of gold miners
climbed. Goldcorp Inc rose 1 percent to C$26.32. 
    But shares of Manitoba Telecom Services Inc slipped
7.6 percent after the company said late on Monday the Canadian
government rejected the proposed sale of its Allstream division
to Accelero Capital Holdings due to "unspecified national
security concerns."
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