UPDATE 3-Resource rally pulls Toronto stocks back up

Wed Aug 6, 2008 4:38pm EDT
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(Updates closing numbers, adds details)

* TSX rebounds 1.6 pct after Tuesday's steep loss

* Resource sectors lead upside

* Agrium gains 5 percent after strong quarterly earnings

TORONTO, Aug 6 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index climbed strongly higher on Wednesday, spurred by a rebound in resource sectors and a strong quarterly profit from fertilizer firm Agrium.

The materials and energy groups were the main impetus for the gains as investors returned to stocks that were battered in a steep selloff in the previous session.

The energy sector benefited from the rebound even though oil prices fell to a low near $117 a barrel before settling at $118.58. In Toronto, Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) gained 5.7 percent.

Agrium (AGU.TO: Quote) rose 5.3 percent after the world's third-largest nitrogen producer said profit more than doubled in the wake of surging demand and prices for fertilizer.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 211.31 points, or 1.6 percent, at 13,453.51 with all but two of its 10 main sectors pointing higher.   Continued...