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* TSX rises 76.66 points, or 0.61 percent, to 12,664.68 * Seven of 10 main index sectors advance * Gold miners climb 3 percent on higher bullion * Nordion jumps after settlement deal By John Tilak TORONTO, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rebounded strongly on Tuesday, after recording its biggest drop in eight weeks the previous session, as gains in financial and resource shares offset concerns about the fate of the U.S. Federal Reserve's stimulus program. A drop in the U.S. dollar lifted bullion prices and pushed gold-mining shares up 3 percent. The Toronto stock market's benchmark index, which has outperformed the S&P 500 in August to date, had a stronger gain than its U.S. counterpart on Tuesday. Investors trained their focus on the release on Wednesday of minutes from the Fed's last policy meeting, which they will scan for clues on when the U.S. central bank is likely to begin trimming its stimulative bond purchases. "The Fed tapering is a foregone conclusion," said Philip Petursson, managing director, portfolio advisory group, at Manulife Asset Management. "Right now the unknown is the extent of tapering, how rapidly it will take place and how light it might be, given the less-than-robust economic data in the past couple of months." Petursson said he expects a rollback of the stimulus program to have a negative impact on the Canadian market. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 76.66 points, or 0.61 percent, at 12,664.68. Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher. Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, climbed 0.6 percent. Royal Bank of Canada, the country's biggest lender, added 1 percent to C$64.66 and had the biggest positive influence on the index. Toronto-Dominion Bank rose 0.9 percent to C$87.68. The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, advanced 1.5 percent, aided by the gains in gold producers. Goldcorp Inc rose 2.8 percent to C$32.86, and Barrick Gold Corp was up 2 percent and C$20.32. Despite lower oil prices, shares of energy companies climbed 0.6 percent. In the group, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd was up 1.2 percent, at C$31.03. In other news, shares of Nordion Inc jumped 7.8 percent to C$8.30 after the medical isotope provider said it settled a lawsuit with its main supplier, Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd, and would receive a settlement.