TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index notched its highest close in more than a month on Wednesday, as a takeover deal for Celtic Exploration Ltd
The index followed advances in global stocks, as hopes grew that Spain will ask for a bailout next month, alleviating the euro zone debt crisis, and as data that groundbreaking on U.S. homes surged in September helped soothe ongoing worries about the global economic growth.
Exxon Mobil Corp
"Certainly the Celtic news is pretty important, and then you just have a decent tone in the rest of the global markets to help along a little bit," said Levente Mady, senior portfolio manager at PI Financial Corp.
Energy stocks - about 25 percent of the index - were up 1.43 percent. Suncor Energy
"There's some excitement around, again, the idea that a major acquisition is occurring with a beloved Canadian name like Celtic this morning. I think that gets the whole space excited," said Mike Newton, associate director and portfolio manager at Macquarie Private Wealth Inc.
Banks shares also gained, rounding out the top five most influential stocks on the index. The financial group, which make up nearly a third of the index's weight, rose 0.36 percent. Royal Bank of Canada
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index <.gsptse> rose 53.54 points, or 0.43 percent, to 12,461.24. It was the highest close since September 14, when it finished at 12,499.47. Seven of the index's 10 main groups advanced.
Offsetting some of the gains was a 1.24 percent retreat in Canadian National Railway
In corporate news, Harry Winston Diamond Corp
Penn West Petroleum
"I know the CEO was publicly stating not more than a month ago that he expected the two- to three-year outlook to be very good, but notably absent was any short-term commentary. So I think the clues were there," said Newton.
The overall materials group, of which Potash is a member, climbed 0.55 percent.
Ivanplats, backed by one of the mining sector's most well-known and colorful financiers - Robert Friedland, announced a long-awaited plan to list in Toronto last month.
(Editing by Leslie Adler)