CANADA STOCKS-Commodity shares drive higher, ING brakes rise

Wed Feb 4, 2009 4:54pm EST
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* Resource stocks higher, metals prices rise

* ING Canada falls 14.7 pct as Dutch bank sells stake (Adds details, quote, updates figures)

TORONTO Feb 4 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose for a second consecutive day on Wednesday as mining shares were boosted by a rise in underlying commodity prices, but weakness in financials kept the gains in check.

The resource-laden index's materials sector led the gain with a 3.9 percent rise, boosted by stronger gold and base metals prices.

The energy group finished the day up 1.4 percent even though oil prices CLc1 settled down at $40.32 a barrel after a U.S. government report showed a larger than expected build in crude inventories. [ID:nSP363085]

Heavily weighted issues that helped the market higher included Potash Corp (POT.TO: Quote), up 4.7 percent at C$97.65, and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote), which climbed 3.7 percent to C$45.73. In the oil patch, Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) rose 3.3 percent to C$24.30.

The big financial services group started the day in the red, crept into positive territory, and fell back to end down 1.3 percent.

The weakness in the sector helped to trim gains on the index, which rallied as much as 2 percent earlier in the day. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) dropped 1.6 percent at C$38.74.

"There's an expectation of bad news ... any time the financials show any strength then the selling starts to come in," said David Cockfield, senior vice president and portfolio manager at Leon Frazer & Associates in Toronto.   Continued...