CANADA STOCKS-TSX powers higher on resources, Potash rally

Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:05pm EST
 
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 * TSX up 117.74 points at 11,630
 * Touches highest level in nearly 2 months
 * Materials shares lead rally
 * Potash Corp jumps after Soros fund boosts stake
 (Adds details and quote)
 By Jennifer Kwan
 TORONTO, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose
on Tuesday as commodity prices ticked higher and shares of
Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO: Quote) rallied after billionaire
investor George Soros's hedge fund raised its stake in the
company.
 Potash Corp topped the list of influential gainers, rising
7 percent to C$116.50. The rise helped to boost the broader
materials sector 2.1 percent, with fertilizer producer Agrium
Inc (AGU.TO: Quote) also higher by 3.8 percent at C$58.55.
[ID:nN1748977]
 The news "would certainly be a bullish indication of how
Mr. Soros feels," said Bruce Latimer, a trader at Dundee
Securities.
 "He's obviously a sophisticated investor. If he's willing
to take a position or a gamble on a significant position on a
stock it might encourage other people to look that way and
perhaps follow suit," Latimer said.
 Strength in commodity-linked shares came as the price of
oil CLc1 settled above $79 a barrel [O/R], while bullion and
base metals prices were firm. [GOL/] [MET/]. Suncor Energy
(SU.TO: Quote) rose 2.2 percent and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) 2.9
percent.
 The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished the day up
117.74 points, or 1.02 percent, at 11,630.00, closing higher
for a third straight session. Earlier, it touched its highest
level since late September.
 The market is now within striking distance of its 2009 high
of 11,648.55. A move above this would bring it to levels not
seen since October of last year when the global financial
crisis was in full swing.
 "A lot of people look at charts as reference points so
11,650 on the TSX is basically what has capped the market for
the last two or three months. A break of that would confirm
short covering and fresh buying from technical funds," said
Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada, in Montreal.
 "For the day, it seems the bus is on a one way street."
 Nine of its 10 main groups were higher except for the
telecoms sector, which closed down 0.1 percent.
 Financial shares, up 0.8 percent, also helped to keep the
broader index higher. Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: Quote) was up 2.6
percent at C$52.95 and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) rose 0.8
percent at C$58.00.
 The blue chip S&P/TSX 60 index  closed 7.71 points
higher, or 1.13 percent, at 692.28.
 Elsewhere, Loblaw Cos (L.TO: Quote) shares climbed 4.9 percent to
C$31.90 after it reported a higher quarterly profit on Tuesday
despite weaker same-store sales. [ID:nN17300399]
 ($1=$1.05 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)