CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as commodity prices lend support

Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:15am EST
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* TSX shoots 1.8 percent higher at open

* Higher commodity prices credited for rally

* Bailout for Bank of America also aids

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was higher, but off early highs, on Friday morning, boosted by rising prices for key Canadian commodities oil and gold.

The heavyweight financial sector also contributed to the gain, bolstered by the news overnight that Bank of America BAC.N will receive a bailout from the U.S. government.

Among the key stocks behind the market's rally were oil company Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO, up 3 percent at C$49.05, and miner Goldcorp G.TO, which rose 2 percent to C$32.30.

Higher prices for gold and oil helped drive gains in the energy and materials sectors, which together account for about 40 percent of the overall index.

"Higher commodity prices and the bailout news south of the border are kind of helping to drive some of the gains," said Steve Ibel, institutional equities trader at Beacon Securities, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.   Continued...