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Some of the most active companies traded Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange:

Toronto Stock Exchange (12,144.84 down 48.14 points):@

Kinross Gold Corp. (TSX:K). Miner. Up 48 cents, or 2.74 per cent, at $18.02 on 16,640,497 shares. The company and Red Back Mining Inc. (TSX:RBI) approved a $7.1-billion friendly takeover that gives Kinross access to promising gold projects in West Africa. Red Back stock was up $1, or 3.19 per cent, at $32.32 on 4,029,131 shares.

Katanga Mining Ltd. (TSX:KAT). Miner. Down two cents, or 1.74 per cent, at $1.13 on 9,604,666 shares. The metals and mining subgroup on the TSX had the biggest drop, declining 1.83 per cent.

Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC). Insurer. Down 28 cents, or 2.07 per cent, at $13.22 on 8,022,878 shares. The financial sector dipped 0.13 per cent.

Southern Pacific Resource Corp. (TSX:STP). Oil and gas. Down five cents, or 4.27 per cent, at $1.12 on 7,490,843 shares. The energy sector slipped 0.62 per cent as the price of benchmark crude for October delivery dipped for a second day in a row to US$76.02 per barrel, down 78 cents.

Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RY). Bank. Up 16 cents, or 0.29 per cent, at $54.49 on 5,830,781 shares. The stock edged higher despite a report Tuesday saying Moody's Investors Service had placed all of its long-term ratings on review for a possible downgrade.

Andean Resources Ltd. (TSX:AND). Miner. Down four cents, or 0.64 per cent, at $6.19 on 4,691,461 shares. The company was in the news recently when Eldorado Gold (TSX:ELD) pulled its bid for Andean, leaving Vancouver-based Goldcorp (TSX:G) the winner of a takeover battle.

TSX Venture Exchange (1,630.24 up 8.04 points):@

Romarco Minerals (TSXV:R). Miner. Unchanged at $2.27 on 8,607,394 shares.

First Gold Exploration Inc. (TSX:EFG). Mineral exploration/development. Up 8.5 cents, or 36.96 per cent, at 31.5 cents on 8,402,854 shares. The junior miner reported its "best drilling results to date" at its Lac Pivert/Rose project in Quebec.

Companies reporting major news:@

Canadian Tire Corp. (TSX:CTC). Retailer. Down 43 cents, or 0.76 per cent, at $56.48 on 144,463 shares. The big hardware, home goods, clothing and automotive retailer said it will ditch its six-brand categories, replacing it with a centralized structure. The move will see Canadian Tire lay off some of its managers while reassigning others.

Centamin Egypt Ltd. (TSX:CEE). Gold miner. Up 18 cents, or 7.09 per cent, at $2.72 on 2,483,638 shares. Centamin reported a nearly one-third increase in proven and probable reserves at its Sukari mine just two days after the company revised its 2010 production estimate downwards by about 20 per cent, sending its shares tumbling by more than 10 per cent.

MDS Inc. (TSX:MDS). Life sciences. Down 19 cents, or 1.84 per cent, at $10.16 on 200,938 shares. MDS met analyst expectations for revenue at US$53 million in its fiscal third quarter, but the restructured concern reported a loss rather than a profit for the three months ended July 31.

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (TSX:POT). Fertilizer. Down $2.03, or 1.33 per cent, at $150.52 on 1,433,094 shares. China said it was closely watching global miner BHP Biliton's $38.5-billion bid to acquire PotashCorp. It's the first comment by the Chinese government regarding the hostile bid.

West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. (TSX:WFT). Forestry. Up 89 cents, or 2.35 per cent, at $38.75 on 83,878 shares. The Vancouver-based company doubled its quarterly dividend to six cents per share and announced a new, $125-million capital spending program.

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