CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits 4-week high, Equinox surges on bid

* TSX rises 0.74 pct to 14,234.14

* Equinox up 30 pct on takeover bid from China’s Minmetals

* Seven sectors advance, led by 2.3 pct rise in materials
(Adds details)

TORONTO, April 4 (Reuters) – Toronto’s main stock index
climbed to a four-week high on Monday morning, buoyed by a new
wave of takeover bids and by rising commodity prices.

A new pair of takeover offers for Canadian mining companies
added to other deals in the works offshore and spurred hopes
for an expanding merger and acquisition market this year.
[ID:nN01283917] [MRG] [MKTS/GLOB]

Shares of Equinox Minerals (EQN.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) surged more than 30
percent to C$7.50 after Minmetals Resources (1208.HK: Quote, Profile, Research), China’s
biggest metals trading company, made a surprise C$6.3 billion
offer to buy the company. [ID:nL3E7F30DI]

The offer is conditional on Equinox dropping its C$4.7
billion bid for Canada’s Lundin Mining (LUN.TO: Quote, Profile, Research), which has been
the subject of a separate takeover tussle between Equinox and
Inmet Mining (IMN.TO: Quote, Profile, Research). Lundin was off 3 percent at C$8.07,
while Inmet rose 2.23 percent to C$72.03.

“The hunter (is) becoming the hunted,” said Michael Sprung,
president at Sprung & Co Investment Counsel. “People are
reading into that that there is a wave of consolidation going
on in the materials market and I would suspect people also
think that will occurring within the energy sector as well.”

“You couple that with positive moves in the commodities
today, and that’s certainly helping to carry the Canadian
market upward here.”

New Gold (NGD.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) slipped 4 percent to C$10.81 after the
intermediate gold producer said on Monday it will acquire
Richfield Ventures (RVC.V: Quote, Profile, Research) in a friendly all-stock deal valued
at C$550 million. [ID:nN04239951]

At 10:25 a.m. (1425 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s
S&P/TSX composite index (.GSPTSE: Quote, Profile, Research) was up 103.99 points, or 0.74
percent, at 14,234.14, rising for a fifth straight session.

Seven of the index’s 10 main groups were higher, led by the
hefty materials and energy groups, which were up 2.3 percent
and 0.6 percent, respectively.

An improving macroeconomic backdrop for global growth also
helped sentiment, particularly after Friday’s healthy U.S. jobs
data, sending copper and other commodities higher. [MET/L]

Brent crude rose towards $120 a barrel and U.S. crude hit a
2-1/2-year high above $108 as unrest in the Middle East and
North Africa kept the focus on oil supplies and as signs of
economic growth bolstered demand for fuel. [O/R]

Notable risers included Teck Resources (TCKb.TO: Quote, Profile, Research), up 6
percent at C$54.35, while Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) gained 1.17
percent to C$44.12. First Quantum (FM.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) added 3.34 percent to
C4134.22, and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) advanced 2 percent to

($1=$0.97 Canadian)
(Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)

CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits 4-week high, Equinox surges on bid