CANADA STOCKS-TSX higher on commodities, upbeat outlook

Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:07pm EDT
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* TSX up 130.67 points, or 1.22 percent, at 10,831.18

* Firm commodity prices lift energy, materials

* Fed, U.S. existing home data boost sentiment

* Index down 0.2 percent on the week (Adds details, quotes)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index shot higher on Friday, led by commodity-related issues, after upbeat U.S. home sales data and comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sparked optimism about an economic recovery.

Better than expected July sales of previously owned U.S. homes signaled the housing market may be pulling out of its three-year slump.[ID:nN21378170]

A further lift came from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who said the global economy appears to be on the mend, though he cautioned the recovery would likely be sluggish. [ID:nN21401432]

The buoyant mood and expectations of rising demand helped to light a fire under commodity prices, with oil settling at a 10-month high of $73.89 a barrel. In turn that helped to boost the TSX's energy and materials sectors, up 1.8 percent and 1.3 percent respectively.   Continued...