November 27, 2008 / 4:36 PM / 10 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises, Nexen up on takeover talk

* Energy group turns higher, rises despite oil price dip

* Nexen rises almost 11 pct as takeover rumors emerge

* Trading muted with U.S. markets closed for Thanksgiving

TORONTO, Nov 27 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index rose steadily on Thursday morning, after opening lower, led up by a turnaround in the energy group.

Trading volume was muted with U.S. markets closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The energy sector turned positive, up 1.55 percent, even through the price of oil fell to around $54 a barrel as a holiday weekend in the United States limited trade. [ID:nSP350327] The turnaround in the energy group could put it on track for five straight days of gains.

Helping the group rise was Nexen NXY.TO, up nearly 11 percent to C$24.70 and the second-highest net gainer. French oil major Total declined comment on Thursday on reports of rumors that it was considering a takeover bid for the Canadian oil and gas company. [ID:nLR142644]

The materials group was up 3.1 percent, helped by fertilizer producers Potash Corp POT.TO and Agrium AGU.TO. Potash Corp POT.TO was a top net gainer, up 7.2 percent at C$81.72. Agrium rose 2.1 percent to C$38.39.

Shortly after 11:00 a.m. (1600 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 0.83 percent, or 71.94 points, at 8,715.46. Seven of its 10 main groups were higher, including the heavily-weighted energy, materials, and financial sectors.

“The volumes are dismal. There is no big mover, no big reaction anywhere,” said Francis Campeau, a broker at MF Global Canada in Montreal. “Business as usual will come back on Monday.”

BCE (BCE.TO) extended losses for a second day as its C$34.8 billion leveraged buyout stood on the brink of collapse.[ID:nN26363240] BCE was down 0.9 percent at C$25.03.

The Canadian government will release its fall fiscal and economic update after markets on Thursday but the impact of the measures announced is seen to be limited for the Toronto stock market.

$1=$1.23 Canadian Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway

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