CANADA STOCKS-Commodities drive TSX to near 2-wk high

Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:02pm EDT
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 * TSX rises 100.73 points, or 0.81 pct, to 12,605.58
 * Materials up 1.3 pct, buoyed by gold and copper prices
 * Index bounced back after weak U.S. data
 (Updates with details, comments)
 By Trish Nixon
 TORONTO, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market
index rallied for a fourth straight session to touch its
strongest point in nearly 2 weeks on Tuesday as stronger
commodity prices boosted mining and energy stocks.
 The heavyweight materials sector added 1.3 percent as gold
prices surged 2.5 percent and copper rallied to its highest in
almost a month on Chile supply concerns. [O/R] [MET/L]
 "It's been faring well so far today on quite a strong
commodity sector, from base metal to precious metal to energy,"
said Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada, in Montreal.
 "That's all despite some quite weak U.S. consumer
confidence numbers."
 U.S. consumer confidence crumbled in August to its lowest
level in more than two years, sending Toronto stocks briefly
into negative territory. [nN9E7H701P]
 But the index soon shrugged off the losses, helped by
rising oil prices that drove the energy sector up 0.27 percent.
 At 11:48 a.m. (1548 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 100.73 points, or 0.81
pct, to 12,605.58. It touched a session high of 12,622.02, the
strongest level since August 17.
 The index's gold mining subgroup added 1.5 percent, with
Barrick Gold ABX.TO topping the list of influential gainers,
rising 1 percent to C$49.51.
 Bank of Nova Scotia  BNS.TO followed, adding 0.75 percent
to C$52.75 after reporting a quarterly profit rise of nearly 22
percent. [nN1E77T07J]
 That helped buoy the financial sector into slightly
positive territory even as Manulife Financial MFC.TO, the
index's heaviest laggard, fell 1.9 percent to C$13.04. Royal
Bank of Canada RY.TO was off 0.6 percent to C$48.90.
 Campeau said that the next focus for Canadian markets will
be on Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce CM.TO results out
later this week and U.S. employment data on Friday.
 Investors were also awaiting minutes from the U.S. Federal
Reserve's last committee meeting later on Tuesday which could
offer more clues on divisions among board members over further
stimulus measures. [nN1E77S1DG]
 ($1=$0.98 Canadian)
 (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)