CANADA STOCKS-TSX helped higher by U.S. confidence data
* TSX rises 40.09 points to 12,740.47
* Materials, financial groups lift index
* SNC-Lavalin shares plunge 21 pct
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index climbed on Tuesday as resource issues gained on higher metals prices and U.S. confidence data helped lift market sentiment.
The index's heavily weighted materials group led the gains, climbing 1.4 percent as mining issues benefited from rises in gold, silver and copper prices.
No. 2 Canadian gold producer Goldcorp was the market leader, rising 2.9 percent to C$49.77 as bullion prices raced toward $1,800 an ounce. Barrick Gold, the world's largest gold miner, was up 1.5 percent at C$49.25.
A surge in silver prices pushed Silver Wheaton shares up 2.9 percent to C$39.69. Continued...