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* TSX rises 14.94 points, or 0.11 percent, to 13,166.94
* Lululemon soars 14.6 percent after results (Adds details, comments)
TORONTO, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index ended slightly higher on Thursday as mining and materials issues led an otherwise sideways market.
Heavily weighted materials stocks rallied late to finish the session up 0.43 percent, rebounding from sharp drops in the previous two sessions.
"Golds had fallen off quite precipitously in the last couple of days, so we're seeing buying coming in to a number of those names," said Elvis Picardo, strategist at Global Securities.
Iamgold (IMG.TO) rose 2.5 percent to C$17.13, while copper producer Inmet Mining IMN.TO climbed 5.2 percent to C$74.91.
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended the session up 14.94 points, or 0.11 percent, at 13,166.94. All told, six of the TSX's main sectors finished higher.
Industrials stocks gained 0.31 percent, helped by strength among railroads. Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) climbed 1.2 percent to C$67.32, while Canadian Pacific (CP.TO) gained 1.2 percent to C$65.25.
Among individual stocks, yoga-wear retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc LLL.TO soared 14.6 percent to C$64.23, after it reported its net profit nearly doubled in the third quarter and it forecast more growth ahead. [ID:nN09219897]
In the absence of major Canadian economic data, the market took its early cue from U.S. jobless claims, which fell more than expected last week, reviving hopes that a labor market recovery is under way. [ID:nN09222654]
"There's optimism there. I don't think we're out of the woods -- definitely not -- but the trend seems to be wanting to indicate that maybe we've seen the worst of it at this point," said Serge Pepin, head of investments at BMO Investments Inc.
The index touched a two-year high on Tuesday, and is set to end the year with double-digit percentage gains despite uncertainty about the global economy.
"I think we'll probably have one more week of quasi-normal trading, and then it pretty much shuts down, apart from year-end window dressing from mutual funds," said John Kinsey, a portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities.
The only sector to show notable weakness was the small healthcare group, which fell 0.88 percent, as SXC Health Solutions SXC.TO retreated 1.0 percent to C$44.87.
($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Cameron French; editing by Rob Wilson)