March 1, 2010 / 4:11 PM / in 8 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX gains as copper surges after Chile quake

* TSX up 53.67 points at 11,683.30

* Miners, energy producers among index gainers

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, March 1 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock market index was higher on Monday morning as mining shares gained on surging copper prices after a massive earthquake in top producer Chile shut in up to a fifth of that country’s output.

Miners led the index’s gainers with Teck Resources TCKb.TO up 2.4 percent at C$39.63, and First Quantum Minerals FM.TO adding 0.6 percent to C$82.49.

“The easy story was a good rally on copper due to the unfortunate Chile earthquake,” said Francis Campeau, a broker at MF Global Canada in Montreal.

He also noted that currency moves in the sterling and euro have also boosted commodity prices.

Gold prices eased in U.S. dollar terms as the euro retreated versus the dollar, but the metal hit record highs in sterling terms as fears the next British election could result in a hung parliament weighed on the British currency. [GOL/]

Toronto’s energy producers gained 0.8 percent as oil rose above $80 a barrel. [O/R] EnCana Corp ECA.TO was up 2.7 percent at C$35.43, and Talisman Energy TLM.TO added 1.1 percent to C$19.44.

“Volumes are extremely light but Canada I guess should continue to celebrate,” added Campeau, referring to euphoria over the country’s Olympic gold medal win against the United States in the men’s ice hockey final on Sunday.

Also boosting risk appetite, data on Monday showed Canada’s economy grew at a 5.0 percent annualized rate in the fourth quarter, beating market expectations, on strong consumer spending and exports. [ID:nN01244875]

At 10:40 a.m. (1540 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 53.67 points, or 0.46 percent, at 11,683.30.

$1=$1.05 Canadian Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Peter Galloway

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