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.

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...