CANADA STOCKS-U.S. Fed's reassurance propels TSX to two-year high
* TSX rises 40.48 points, or 0.30 percent, to 13,471.86 * Seven of 10 main index sectors advance * Potash is market's most influential gainer * Saputo climbs after raising bid for Australian company By John Tilak TORONTO, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index climbed on Friday to its highest in more than two years as the market cheered stimulus-friendly comments from the Federal Reserve's Vice Chair Janet Yellen, who is expected to take over as head of the U.S. central bank. The Toronto market advanced for a third straight session and was on track to record a second consecutive weekly gain. Economic reforms announced by China, which included steps to free up markets, also provided support. Yellen on Thursday defended the Fed's plans is to stimulate growth and stated she would implement the central bank's ultra-easy monetary policy until officials were confident the economic recovery was robust and job creation was sustainable. "She was very much expected to be a dove and her statements give some strength to the view that she would continue quantitative easing," said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada. "Markets took that favorably," he added. "The markets are addicted to the near-zero interest rates." The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 32.11 points, or 0.24 percent, at 13,463.59, after touching 13,473.32 - its highest level since July 2011. The strong advances in the broader Canadian market over the last one month are unsustainable, but lagging natural resource stocks offer value, Ing said. "My expectation is that commodities will pick up," he said. Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on Friday. Financials, the index's most heavily-weighted sector, added 0.3 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia advanced 0.5 percent to C$65.77, and Toronto Dominion Bank rose 0.4 percent to C$97.14. Helped by higher U.S. crude oil prices, energy shares were up 0.3 percent. Suncor Energy Inc gained 0.4 percent to C$37.38. The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, climbed. Potash Corp jumped 1.6 percent to C$34.11 and was the market's most influential gainer. In company news, Saputo Inc raised its takeover offer for Australia's Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Co Holdings Ltd (WCB) by 12.5 percent, and Warrnambool's board unanimously recommended it. Shares of the Canadian dairy company rose 0.4 percent to C$48.87.
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