CANADA STOCKS-TSX buoyed by fertilizer rally, resource prices
* 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: Quote) led the materials group, up 2.8 percent at C$147.50, while competitor Agrium Inc (AGU.TO: Quote) 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: Quote) 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: Quote) rose 2.8 percent, ending the session at C$35.04, and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) 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)
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