CANADA STOCKS-TSX higher as resource shares rise
* TSX up 75.26 pts, or 0.6 pct, to 12,055.36 * Materials and energy shares rise * Risk sentiment rises on Apple earnings, U.S. Fed * Rogers Communications earnings weigh By Jon Cook TORONTO, April 25 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Wednesday in thin trading as resource issues were boosted ahead of the outcome of a key U.S. Federal Reserve meeting that could give clues on the prospects for further monetary easing in the United States. Nearly all of Canada's 10 main sectors were higher, led by heavily-weighted material issues, which climbed 1.6 percent. Oil and gas shares rose 0.7 percent. The most influential gainers included Potash Corp, up nearly 5 percent to C$44.04, Agrium Inc, up 3.3 percent to C$86.90, Inmet Mining, rising 3.2 percent to C$53.99, and Canadian Natural Resources, up 1.4 percent to $31.73. Markets expect Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to restate his intention to keep rates near zero throughout 2014 and possibly hint at more easing at the U.S. central bank's latest policy meeting. "The next major turning point would be if (Bernanke) were to talk about the recovery doing much better and taking away a bit of the punch bowl," said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC Capital Markets. "People will dissect his comments, and it could jiggle the market." Hand, however, cautioned that moves were exaggerated as trading volumes remained low. The U.S. currency fell to three-week lows, boosting commodities priced in U.S. dollars. Oil, gold and metals prices all rose in hopes the Fed would tip its hand to the possibility of further economic stimulus. Around 10:30 a.m. (1430 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 75.26 points, or 0.6 percent, to 12,055.36. U.S. equity markets also firmed after technology giant Apple Inc's surprise jump in profits led major indexes higher. "It gave the S&P a bit of a bounce. The response from Canada is a little more muted, given the fact we don't really have a (significant) tech sector," said Hand. Weighing on stocks was a weaker-than-expected earnings report on Tuesday from Canada's largest mobile phone company, Rogers Communications Inc. Rogers shares fell more than 4 percent to C$37.37 after it said on Tuesday its quarterly profit dropped by 16 percent as rising competition hurt its cable and wireless divisions.
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