CANADA STOCKS-TSX climbs to one-week high as mining stocks surge

Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:47pm EDT
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* TSX rises 49.85 points, or 0.40 percent, to 12,426.90
    * Materials and financial sectors drive gains
    * Potash rises after Israel Chemical takeover report
    * Cenovus up 1.73 percent after upgrade

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose
on Wednesday, as the materials sector rose with higher commodity
prices and after Potash Corp said it has ramped up
efforts to acquire a smaller rival.
    The materials group rose 1.28 percent. Potash gained 0.8
percent at C$40.29 after the fertilizer company confirmed its
interest in increasing its stake in Israel Chemical Ltd.
    Volumes on Toronto's stock market picked up as U.S. equity
markets resumed trading after a two-day closure due to massive
storm Sandy. 
    "It's a fairly positive tone here. There is nothing acting
as a dramatic catalyst," said Bob Gorman, chief portfolio
strategist at TD Waterhouse.
    At midafternoon, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX
composite index was up 49.85 points, or 0.40 percent,
at 12,426.90. Eight of the 10 main subgroups were positive.
    The index rose as high as 12,456.81, the highest level since
Oct. 19    
    "People are certainly feeling more confident in the resource
sector," said Paul Harris, portfolio manager at Avenue
Investment Management. "Canadian stocks have been beaten up this
year. You're seeing some pickup of that."    
    Other material stocks driving the market were Silver Wheaton
Corp, up 3 percent at C$40.29, and Yamana Gold Inc
, which rose 2.57 percent to C$19.98.
    Gold prices rose to their highest in a week. 
    Financial stocks were up 0.5 percent, led by the Bank of
Nova Scotia, which was up 0.63 percent at C$54.48.
Toronto-Dominion Bank, Canada's second-largest bank,
rose 0.28 percent to C$81.34.   
    "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 energy sector was down 0.17 percent as Encana Corp
, Canada's largest gas producer, fell 2.76 percent to
    But Cenovus Energy Inc, Canada's No. 2 independent
oil producer, was one of the biggest drivers of the market's
gains. The shares rose 1.73 percent to C$35.38 after SocGen
upgraded its recommendation to "buy" from "hold." 
    Commodity prices rose as recovery efforts began following
Sandy, one of the biggest-ever storms in U.S. history.
    Brent crude rose to about $109 a barrel, though the gains
were limited by concerns over demand impact on the United