CANADA STOCKS-TSX heads higher as resource prices rise
* TSX rises 0.94 percent to 10,630.24
* Materials, energy groups lead move as resource prices up
* Investors shrug off unexpected dip in U.S. house starts (Adds details)
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index advanced broadly on Tuesday morning as renewed risk appetite and firmer commodity prices helped lift the resource-heavy index after a big loss the previous session.
Rising gold prices and a rebound in oil prices boosted the index's hefty materials and energy groups, which climbed 1.44 percent and 0.97 percent, respectively.
Key gainers included miner Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote), up 2.2 percent at C$37.06, and oil company Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote), up 1.4 percent at C$34.89.
Fertilizer producer Potash Corp POT.TO was also a key riser, up 0.6 percent at C$101.25, after the company said North American potash pricing declined in July, but manufacturers' inventories in North America fell for the first time this year.[ID:nN1841180]
At 10:17 a.m. (1417 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 98.65 points, or 0.94 percent, at 10,630.24, recovering a portion of its 2.9 percent tumble on Monday, when it touched its lowest level in just over two weeks.
"How commodities go, so goes the Toronto market," said Sal Masionis, stockbroker at Brant Securities. "It's little bit of a rebound, a respite from yesterday's massacre."
The index's financial group was up 0.5 percent, with most banking stocks posting gains as two brokerages lifted price targets on the shares of Canada's big banks. [ID:nBNG395882] [ID:nWNBB6765]
In addition, Genuity Capital Markets raised shares of National Bank of Canada NA.TO to a "buy" from "hold", while Macquarie boosted Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO and Canadian Western Bank CWB.TO to "neutral" from "underperform".
TD was up 0.9 percent at C$62.75.
Investors took in stride an unexpected fall in U.S. housing starts. They fell 1 percent in July, mostly because of a drop in multifamily dwellings. But a rise in single-family home construction for a fifth straight month kept hopes alive that the U.S. economy is poised to recover from recession. [ID:nCAT002800]
($1=$1.11 Canadian) (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)
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