REFILE-CANADA STOCKS-TSX higher as materials issues support

Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:15pm EST
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(Refiles to fix typo in second paragraph)

* TSX ends up, breaks two-day of declines

* Financials off 0.8 percent as Manulife hits (Adds details, quote)

TORONTO, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose on Thursday, struggling up from a 1.7 percent drop earlier in the day, boosted partly by strength in the resource-laden materials sector.

The bulk of the rally came in the last half hour of the trading day and, analysts said, was likely due to news south of the border that the Obama administration was working on a program to subsidize mortgage payments for troubled homeowners. [ID:nN12553515]

"The late surge in the TSX is directly attributable to the late surge in U.S. stocks," said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.

"The housing situation in the U.S. is at the epicenter of this mess so any direct relief would be positive for the markets."

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 40.89 points, or 0.47 percent, at 8,778.78, with seven of its 10 main groups higher. The higher close breaks a two-day streak in negative territory.

The materials sector rose 1.3 percent, helped higher by rising gold, while the telecom sector also provided support, up 2.6 percent.   Continued...