CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as materials issues gain support

Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:24pm EST
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* TSX ends up after two days of declines

* News of U.S. mortgage plan spurs late-day rally

* Financial sector off 0.8 percent, hurt by Manulife (Adds details, quote)

By Jennifer Kwan

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 rally came in the last half hour of the trading day. Analysts said it was spurred by news that the Obama administration was working on a program to subsidize mortgage payments for troubled U.S. 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 closed up 40.89 points, or 0.47 percent, at 8,778.78, with seven of its 10 main groups higher.   Continued...