CANADA STOCKS-TSX posts biggest weekly gain in a year as Agrium surges

Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:39pm BST

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* TSX up 56.99 points, or 0.39 percent, at 14,543.82
    * Nine of the 10 main index sectors advance
    * Agrium climbs 7.6 percent after ValueAct stake

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
recorded its biggest weekly gain in more than a year on Friday,
led by a jump in shares of Agrium Inc after an activist
investor revealed early in the day it has taken a stake in the
company.
    The Agrium advance helped the market overcome a drop in
energy shares on lower oil prices. It also shook off news that a
doctor had tested positive for the Ebola virus in New York City.
 
    Agrium climbed 7.6 percent to C$104.33 after hedge fund
ValueAct Capital disclosed it had bought a 5.7 percent stake in
the fertilizer maker. 
    The Toronto equity market's benchmark index has rebounded
about 6.6 percent since reaching an eight-month low last week.
Investors are now looking ahead to what may come out of a U.S.
Federal Reserve policy meeting next week.
    "We're seeing a continuation of the bargain-hunting we've
experienced over the past few days," said Youssef Zohny,
portfolio manager at StennerZohny Investment Partners of
Richardson GMP Ltd, which manages about C$28.3 billion in
assets. 
    "The markets are taking a more positive view going into next
week," he said, adding that Canadian valuations were "on the
high side of fair value". 
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 56.99 points, or 0.39 percent, at 14,543.82.
Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Shares of energy producers shed 1.3 percent, with oil prices
dropping in choppy trade. Suncor Energy Inc gave back
0.3 percent to C$38.87, and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd
 fell 1.5 percent to C$38.94.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added
0.3 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia advanced 0.5 percent
to C$67.99, and Bank of Montreal climbed 0.3 percent to
C$81.51.
    ($1=$1.12 Canadian)

 (Editing by Peter Galloway)
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