CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as Wall St returns; materials lead climb

Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:55am EDT
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* TSX rises 59.12 points, or 0.45 percent, to 12,436.17
    * Materials and financial sectors drive gains
    * Potash rises after Israel Chemical takeover report
    * Cenovus up 2 percent after upgrade

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose
on Wednesday, led by the materials sector, which benefited from
a gain in Potash Corp after the fertilizer maker ramped
up efforts to acquire a smaller rival.
    The materials group rose 0.87 percent, having the biggest
influence on the index, on a rise in commodity prices and news
that Potash Corp confirmed its interest in increasing its
ownership stake in Israel Chemical Ltd. Potash shares were up
1.15 percent at C$40.43. 
    Volumes on Toronto's stock market picked up as U.S. equity
markets resumed trading after a two-day closure due to monster
storm Sandy. 
    "There's a feeling of confidence. It isn't going to go
overboard. It is managed confidence that we're seeing is
reflected in the market," said Fred Ketchen, director of equity
trading at ScotiaMcLeod.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 59.12 points, or 0.45 percent, at 12,436.17.
Nine of the 10 main subgroups were positive.
    Financial stocks were up 0.58 percent, led higher by Royal
Bank of Canada's 0.9 percent rise to C$57.44.
Toronto-Dominion Bank, Canada's second-largest bank,
rose 0.67 percent to C$81.65. The lenders played the biggest
role of any two stocks in leading the market higher.
    The energy sector was up 0.05 percent, led by Cenovus Energy
Inc. The stock rose 2 percent to C$35.47 after SocGen
recommended that investors buy the stock, compared with its
earlier "hold" opinion.
    Commodity prices were driven higher as recovery efforts
began following Sandy, one of the biggest ever storms in U.S.
    Brent crude rose about $109 a barrel, though the gains were
limited by concerns over demand impact on the United States.
    Gold prices rose to their highest in a week.