CANADA STOCKS-Materials issues help lift TSX to 2-year peak

Wed Dec 29, 2010 4:28pm EST
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* TSX rises 66.01 points to 13,449.17

* Miners, fertilizer firms lead index higher

* Potash Corp surges 4.5 percent (Updates to close, adds details, quotes)

By Claire Sibonney

NEW YORK, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose on Wednesday, hitting a two-year peak on the back of a broad rally among miners and fertilizer companies, including Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO: Quote).

The materials group led the gains, advancing 2.2 percent, as copper climbed to record highs in Europe and gold edged above $1,400 an ounce.

Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) was up 2 percent to C$53.13, while Teck Resources TCKb.TO rose 2.6 percent to C$59.91.

Fertilizer producer Potash Corp jumped 4.5 percent to C$152.56, getting a boost from speculation that corn and soybean futures would rise further next year. Farm products company Agrium Inc (AGU.TO: Quote) shot 4.3 percent higher to C$90.22.

"Sentiment certainly seems to be positive but I think we definitely need to keep in mind that we have a couple more trading days to go before the end of the year and volumes are extremely light," said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.   Continued...