CANADA STOCKS-TSX buoyed by fertilizer rally, resource prices

Fri Oct 8, 2010 5:50pm EDT
 
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   * TSX up 89.66 points, or 0.72 percent, at 12,535.59
 * 8 of the index's 10 key sectors either higher or flat
 * Suncor, Potash, Agrium, Teck Resources, Barrick lead
 (Adds details, quote)
 By Solarina Ho
 TORONTO, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Toronto's main index finished
higher on Friday as stronger commodity prices pushed up
resource stocks and weak jobs data in the United States and
Canada supported speculation the central banks would keep
trying to stimulate the North American economy.
[ID:nN08205203]
 The index's heavily weighted commodity sectors -- materials
and energy -- were up 1.8 percent and 1.3 percent respectively
on higher oil and metals prices.
 "It's primarily on the back of the world basically,
vocally, saying they hate the American dollar, and that's what
forcing commodities and forcing risk-takers out there to buy
into riskier assets," said Sid Mokhtari, a market technician
and director for institutional equity research at CIBC World
Markets.
 Fertilizer producer Potash Corp POT.TO led the materials
group, up 2.8 percent at C$147.50, while competitor Agrium Inc
AGU.TO jumped 7.1 percent to C$82.12. Both companies were
helped by corn prices that rose on news that the U.S.
government was estimating the smallest inventory in 15 years at
the end of the crop year. [ID:nN08221292]
 The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE rose 89.66 points, or
0.72 percent, to 12,535.59. Seven of its 10 key sectors were
higher, while telecoms stocks were flat. The index, which rose
about 1.7 percent on the week, has been trading around two-year
highs.
 "Driving that ... has been a little bit of weakness in the
trade-weighted dollar, which has just been falling day after
day after day," said Gareth Watson, a Canadian equity advisor
with the Portfolio Advisory Group at ScotiaMcLeod.
 The price of gold, already up about 10 percent since the
end of August, climbed 1 percent on Friday as weak U.S.
September jobs data drove investors toward the safe-haven
precious metal. [MET/L]
 Barrick Gold ABX.TO a top market mover, was up 1.2
percent at C$49.08.
 Copper hit a 26-month high on Friday, giving base-metal
miners a lift. Teck Resources TCKb.TO rose 2.5 percent to
C$45.01.
 Oil prices were also pushed higher by the weaker dollar,
amid expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve would act to boost
the economy following the weaker-than-expected jobs report.
 Suncor Energy SU.TO rose 2.8 percent, ending the session
at C$35.04, and Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO advanced 1
percent to C$37.97.
 Tech stocks were up more than 1 percent, boosted by
Research In Motion RIM.TO, which rose 2.3 percent to C$49.08.
The BlackBerry maker's gain came following a report that the
United Arab Emirates would not suspend BlackBerry services
after resolving a dispute over access to email and other data.
[ID:nLDE6970AM]
 Financial stocks were among the decliners, down a modest
0.4 percent. Manulife Financial MFC.TO fell 1.4 percent to
C$12.41.
 "Even though we're rising, the level of participation is
slowing from a volume perspective, so it is very prudent to be
cautious at these levels and investors should be thinking twice
before aggressively and piling up at these levels," Mokhtari
said.
 ($1=$1.01 Canadian)
 (Editing by Peter Galloway)