UPDATE 2-Resource rebound takes Toronto stocks higher

Wed Aug 6, 2008 3:34pm EDT
 
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(Updates to late afternoon)

* TSX pushes higher in broad-based rally

* Resources rebound despite oil price slide

* Fertilizer companies boost materials group

TORONTO, Aug 6 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index climbed further on Wednesday afternoon, gaining more than 200 points on rebounding resource issues and strong profits from fertilizer company Agrium.

After being battered in a steep selloff in the previous session, the materials and energy sectors bounced back despite little help from underlying commodity prices.

Among gainers in the oil and gas sector, Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) added 5.9 percent, as investors returned to the group even as the price of oil fell below $118 a barrel.

Gains in shares of Agrium (AGU.TO: Quote) also gave the resource group a lift, after the world's third-largest nitrogen producer said profit more than doubled in the wake of surging demand and prices for fertilizer. Agrium rose 7 percent.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 247.82 points, or 1.87 percent, at 13,490.02 with all but one of its 10 main sectors gaining.   Continued...