The Toronto Stock Exchange Group is reported to be in discussions to acquire a stake in the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Reports in the Wall Street Journal indicate the TSX would pick up a 10 per cent stake in NYMEX in exchange for control of the Calgary-based Natural Gas Exchange.

Officials at the TSX have not commented on the rumours, beyond stating the exchange has held discussions with numerous potential partners.

The TSX acquired 100 per cent ownership of the NGX in March 2004. The NGX dates back to 1993 whenCanadian pipeline company Westcoast Energy Inc. authorized the funding to develop a natural gas trading platform.

A wave of consolidation has gone through the trading market sector.Most recently, NYSE Group Inc.announcedlast week it intends to merge with Paris-based Euronext in a $10-billion US cash and stock deal that will create the first trans-Atlantic securities market.