CANADA STOCKS-TSX boosted by data, higher commodity prices

Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:30am EDT
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 * TSX up 39.15 points, or 0.33 percent, at 12,047.95
 * Materials lead index higher as metals prices climb
 * Westjet falls sharply after CEO resigns
 (Adds details, quote)
 By Jennifer Kwan
 TORONTO, March 16 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market
index rose on Tuesday morning as firmer oil and metals prices
boosted some commodity issues, while Canadian economic data
provided more evidence that recovery is taking hold.
 The index's materials sector led the way, rising 1.5
percent, with First Quantum Minerals FM.TO up 2.6 percent at
C$90.51 after the miner posted better than expected quarterly
results. [ID:nSGE62F0BO]
 Fertilizer producer Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO
was up 2.3 percent at C$130.46, while miner Agnico-Eagle
AEM.TO rose 1.8 percent to C$60.19.
 The Canadian dollar's continued march higher also
encouraged the market, said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC
Capital Markets.
 "The Canadian dollar is firm and you keep reading all the
press about how Canada is such a favorable place from a fiscal
standpoint. The strong dollar is attracting money from
everywhere," he said.
 The Canadian dollar hovered near 20-month highs against the
U.S. currency on Tuesday, bolstered by firmer oil prices and
stronger than expected Canadian factory sales data. [CAD/]
 At 10:02 a.m. (1402 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 39.15 points, or 0.33
percent, at 12,047.95. But the index continued to bump back
from its year high of 12,070.74, hit in January, reflecting
underlying investor caution.
 Some resources issues got a lift from higher oil, gold and
base metals prices, ahead of an interest rate decision by the
U.S. Federal Reserve later in the day. [O/R] [GOL/] [MET/L]
 The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to reiterate its
pledge to keep rates low for an extended period.
 Elsewhere, Domtar Corp UFS.TO shares rose 5 percent to
C$67.56 after Goldman Sachs raised the forestry firm UFS.N to
"buy" from "neutral," and added the company to its Americas
"Conviction Buy" list. [ID:nWNAB9914] For other news, see:
 On the downside, shares in WestJet Airlines Ltd WJA.TO
fell 2.5 percent to C$13.52 as the surprise resignation of its
chief executive rattled investors already edgy after a rough
year for Canada's No. 2 carrier. [ID:nN15226841]
 ($1=$1.02 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway)