UPDATE 1-Toronto stock index rises above 14,000 points

Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:50am EST
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TORONTO Dec 11 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index climbed on Tuesday, punching through the 14,000-point threshold and adding to four straight days of gains, as materials and energy stocks followed commodity prices higher.

The materials sector rose 1.1 percent and energy stocks rose 0.6 percent. Most other TSX sectors edged slightly higher ahead of an impending interest rate decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The Fed is expected to cut rates by 25 basis points later on Tuesday, although some are calling for a 50-point cut to protect the world's biggest economy against a recession.

"Whatever the reduction, it's designed to give some encouragement that the Federal Reserve wants to try to help," said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod.

"Whatever good develops from it, the Canadian economy will benefit" because of the two countries' strong trade and economic links, he said.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 68.97 points, or 0.5 percent, at 14,009.33, with nine of its 10 main groups logging gains. The index hasn't traded above the 14,000 mark since Nov. 9.

On world commodity exchanges, U.S. crude oil rose more than $1 to above $89 a barrel, natural gas advanced, and most base metals were in positive territory.

Fertilizer major Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO: Quote) led all gainers on the resource-heavy TSX, up C$2.92 at C$136.92.   Continued...