UPDATE 4-Commodity prices boost Toronto stocks

Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:39pm EDT
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* Main Toronto stock index rallies 1.4 percent

* Higher commodity prices boost energy, resource shares

* Financials, flat on the day, continue to struggle (Adds comments, details, official data)

By Wojtek Dabrowski

TORONTO, Aug 21 (Reuters) - The main index of the Toronto Stock Exchange finished about 1.4 percent higher on Thursday, as energy and materials producers rallied on the back of stronger commodities.

The price of U.S. crude hit $121.18 a barrel, up $5.62, driven by rising tensions between the United States and energy-rich Russia. Petro-Canada PCA.TO climbed more than 3 percent.

Gold rose above $830 an ounce as the U.S. dollar weakened. Agnico-Eagle Mines AEM.TO was up more than 5 percent

"(There was) a huge rebound today in commodity prices, so no surprise, the TSX is doing great," said Kate Warne, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones.

Investors have flocked to energy and resource investments as a shelter from weak financial stocks, which have continued to sputter in the face of tough credit markets and a slowdown in the global economy.   Continued...