CANADA STOCKS-TSX rallies to near 2-wk high as commodities gain

Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:06pm EDT
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   * TSX closes up 129.86 points, or 1.04 pct, at 12,634.71
 * Materials up 1.9 pct, buoyed by gold
 * U.S. FOMC minutes buoy sentiment
 (Updates with details, comments)
 By Trish Nixon
 TORONTO, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
rallied for a fourth day on Tuesday, reaching its strongest
point in nearly two weeks, as rising commodity prices propelled
resource-based shares higher.
 The heavyweight materials sector, which includes mining
shares, added 1.9 percent as gold prices surged more than 2
percent and copper rallied to its highest in almost a month on
Chile supply concerns. [GOL/][MET/L]
 Energy issues added 1.2 percent as Brent crude rose for a
sixth straight session to a four-week high. [O/R]
 "The commodities seem to have righted themselves from their
anxiety over the economic slowdown potential," said Paul Hand,
managing director at RBC Capital Markets.
 The index added to early gains after minutes from the last
Federal Reserve rate-setting meeting boosted expectations the
U.S. central bank will try to do more to stimulate the economy.
 "There's increasing talk of some more stimulus," said Elvis
Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global
Securities in Vancouver.
 "The market's interpreting that to mean QE3 in some shape
or form, and you're seeing gold take off on the back of that,
and the oil producers are going along for the ride as well."
 Barrick Gold ABX.TO, up 1.6 percent at C$49.76, and
Suncor Energy SU.TO, up 1.5 percent at C$31.02, were among
the index's heaviest gainers.
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE closed up 129.86 points, or 1.04 percent, at
12,634.71. It touched a session high of 12,664.72, its
strongest since Aug. 17.
 Bank of Nova Scotia  BNS.TO helped boost the financial
sector, which rose 0.7 percent, after it reported a quarterly
profit rise of nearly 22 percent on Tuesday. The Canadian bank
was the most influential gainer on the index, adding 2.2
percent to C$53.50. [nN1E77T07J]
 "Other than (Royal Bank of Canada) that is off a little
bit, the banks obviously responded reasonably well to the
Scotia earnings," added Hand. Royal Bank of Canada fell 0.5
percent to C$48.93, and was the heaviest decliner.
 Research in Motion RIM.TO was top advancer, jumping 6.4
percent to C$31.91. The BlackBerry maker's stock also made
strong gains on Monday and Friday.
 "One of the biggest factors is general sentiment for beaten
down stocks, investors are in the mood for bargain hunting,"
Picardo said.
  (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)