CANADA STOCKS-TSX nears eight-week high as resource shares gain

* TSX up 72.23 points, or 0.48 percent, at 15,052.38
    * Seven of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Gold-mining shares jump 2.2 percent

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Nov 20(Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose to
its highest in nearly eight weeks on Thursday as shares of gold
miners and energy producers jumped with commodity prices.
    A stronger U.S. dollar helped support the bullion price,
which also benefited from investors looking to take advantage of
the recent decline. 
    The market largely shrugged off concerns about the global
economy, which resurfaced as data showed a slowdown in growth in
China's factory sector and sluggish private sector growth in
    "Investors have become a little more constructive on energy
and gold. Finally, they are buying the dip," said Douglas Davis,
vice chairman at Davis-Rea.
    "The real trend for oil seems to still be down. So it may be
premature to be buying energy stocks," he added. Davis is more
positive about the prospects for natural gas companies.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 72.23 points, or 0.48 percent, at 15,052.38.
Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Shares of energy producers advanced 1.8 percent, with oil
prices rising in anticipation of a positive outcome from an
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting next
    Canadian Natural Resources Ltd gained 2.5 percent
to C$41.64, and Suncor Energy Inc added 1.4 percent to
    The gold-mining sector jumped 2.2 percent. Barrick Gold Corp
 advanced 2.1 percent to C$14.39, and Goldcorp Inc
 was up 2 percent, at C$23.18.
    Shares of Nevsun Resources Ltd jumped more than 13
percent to C$4.80 after a Bloomberg report citing unnamed
sources said mining fund QKR Corp is close to making a bid for
the company.

 (With additional reporting by Jeffrey Hodgson; Editing by W
Simon and Nick Zieminski)