* TSX gains 0.12 percent to 11,345.11
* Oil heads towards $70, lifts energy issues
* Sentiment boosted by U.S. retail sales figures (Adds details)
TORONTO, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was slightly higher on Tuesday morning as energy and materials issues firmed on a rising oil price and demand for fertilizer shares, while much of the rest of the market declined.
Oil rose toward $70 a barrel on Tuesday, boosted by a weaker dollar and an expected draw in U.S. crude stocks, [nSP312072], and that pushed up the index’s energy group more than 1 percent.
Gold-mining issues were mixed as the price of the yellow metal fell but was off session lows. Goldcorp (G.TO) was up 0.8 percent at C$44.60, while Kinross (K.TO) advanced 0.7 percent to C$24.09. But Barrick Gold fell 0.5 percent to C$40.32, while Agnico-Eagle slipped 0.9 percent to C$74.54.
Gains in fertilizer stocks Agrium AGU.TO and Potash Corp POT.TO helped to offset the falls in some gold miners, and overall, the index’s materials group was up 0.62 percent.
Investors also drew comfort from U.S. retail sales, which advanced at their fastest clip in more than three years in August, and provided evidence that household spending was probably rising. [ID:nN15548319]
“It’s a bit of a mixed bag here. We came out of the gate on a bit of a positive tone on the U.S. numbers and the market has now settled back in here,” said Bruce Latimer, trader at Dundee Securities.
He said he expected the index would trade in a fairly tight range for most of the session and that it may pop up near the end of the day as it has in the last few sessions.
At 10:23 a.m. (1423 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 13.07 points, or 0.12 percent, at 11,345.11.
$1=$1.08 Canadian Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway