CANADA STOCKS-TSX jumps 2 percent as commodities rise

Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:17am EST
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TORONTO Dec 23 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index jumped almost 2 percent on Tuesday morning as rising oil prices boosted energy issues and buoyant gold prices propped up gold-mining shares, one day after the market dropped more than 300 points.

All 10 of the TSX groups were higher with the mining-heavy materials group gaining 3.2 percent and the heavyweight energy group rising 2.3 percent.

Potash Corp POT.TO, the world's biggest fertilizer producer, gained 4.5 percent. Potash Corp rebounded after selling off in the previous session following an analyst's downgrade. The company also said late on Monday that it had repurchased 2.95 million of its common shares.

Energy issues gained ground as the price for U.S. crude oil rose 1 percent to $40.31. EnCana Corp ECA.TO climbed 3.3 percent to C$52.70, and Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO gained 4 percent to C$44.38.

Gold-mining issues gained ground as the price of the precious metal settled around $844 an ounce. Barrick Gold ABX.TO, which named a new president and chief executive on Tuesday, added 3.7 percent to C$41.10, and Royal Gold Inc RGLD.O gained 6 percent to C$57.35.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 156.73 points, or 1.9 percent, at 8,406.26. On Monday, the index dropped 302.47 points, or 3.5 percent, to 8,249.53.

($1=$1.22 Canadian) (Reporting by Scott Anderson; editing by Peter Galloway)