July 4, 2008 / 2:47 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-Weak resources take Toronto stocks down, BCE stars

(Updates to midmorning)

*TSX falls as resource shares slip with commodities

*BCE jumps after says finalizes funding at C$42.75 a share

TORONTO, July 4 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index sagged on Friday morning, pulled lower by weak resource companies while commodity prices softened.

But losses were partly offset by a big jump in shares of BCE Inc (BCE.TO) after the telecom company said its buyers had finalized funding and were sticking to the agreed purchase price of C$42.75 a share. For details, see: [nN04347499].

BCE jumped C$4.35, or 12.4 percent, to C$39.50.

Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada, in Montreal, said the stock looked unlikely to go much above C$40 until the banks financing the deal provide more information,

In the past year since the deal was announced, BCE’s shares have traded below the proposed purchase price amid speculation that the deal could be repriced or even scrapped, amid the impact of the credit crunch on financial markets.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 53.63 points, or 0.38 percent, at 14,089.94, with all but three of its 10 main sectors in a downturn. The index touched a session low of 14,017.75 soon after the open.

BCE stock, halted pending the company’s announcement, only started trading at 10 a.m..

Weak prices for oil, gold and other metals helped take some money out of the the resource space, with the energy and materials sectors giving up 1 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively.

The price of oil slipped below $145 a barrel, as investors awaited a response from Iran on proposals to resolve the dispute over its nuclear program.

Among the laggards, Canadian Oil Sands Trust COS_u.TO was off 80 Canadian cents, or 1.5 percent, at C$53.90, while Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) was down C$1.73, or 2.3 percent, at C$73.27.

On the upside, BCE was the largest net gainer, helping push the telecoms sector up 4.2 percent. Also in the group, Telus Corp (T.TO) was up 82 Canadian cents, or 2 percent, at C$42.50.

Volume was expected to be light with U.S. markets closed for the July 4 holiday. ($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Janet Guttsman)

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