UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks rise on commodities, Buffett

Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:41am EDT
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*Billionaire Buffett's $5 bln bet helps sentiment

*Nexen rises, says production to dip due to Ike

*Energy, materials stocks gain on higher commodity prices

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TORONTO, Sept 24 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index rose on Wednesday morning on strength in commodity stocks and a $5 billion investment in Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N: Quote) by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N: Quote) (BRKb.N: Quote), but concerns over the fate of a U.S. government bailout plan for the financial industry lingered.

Berkshire Hathaway's purchase of a stake in Goldman Sachs helped to boost investor sentiment, said Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada in Montreal, but markets remained cautious as U.S. lawmakers entered a second day of debate on the government's $700 billion financial rescue plan.

The U.S. government's push for quick congressional approval of the plan hit a major obstacle on Tuesday as some senators said the plan puts taxpayers at excessive risk. [ID:nN23313135]

Shortly after the open, the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 119.61 points, or 0.95 percent, at 12,652.24, with three of its 10 main groups higher.

The heavyweight energy sector was up 2 percent as oil edged higher to above $108 a barrel.   Continued...