* TSX edges up 0.17 percent to 11,648.14
* FNX Mining up on production announcement
* Thin trading expected for rest of year (Adds details, comments)
By Irene Kuan
TORONTO, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was higher on Wednesday morning as commodity prices edged up helping lift shares of Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) and other mining and energy companies on the resource-heavy index.
Powerhouse gold producer Barrick climbed 2.5 percent to C$42.24, while smaller rival Goldcorp was up 3.2 percent at C$42.03. Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) rose 2.5 percent to C$14.75.
“We’re coming up to the end of the year, and the U.S. dollar has had nine successive days of ups, so thats depressed the gold price. But it appears today the downward pressures (on gold) are alleviating so we’ve got a bounce,” said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada.
Gold prices rose on Wednesday as the euro firmed a touch against a softer U.S. dollar, while U.S. crude oil prices rose above $76 after inventory data showed crude stocks fell much more than expected last week. [GOL/][O/R]
Nickel and copper producer FNX Mining FNX.TO climbed 1.8 percent to C$11.62 after the company said it expected a 31 percent increase in 2010 ore production. [ID:nSGE5BM0IP]
At 10:30 a.m. (1530 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 20.16 points, or 0.17 percent, at 11,648.14.
Analysts said trading will be thin for the remainder of the year.
“All moves are set to be exaggerated at the end of the year,” said Ing, noting that the swings should return to normal after the New Year holiday.
$1=$1.05 Canadian Reporting by Irene Kuan; editing by Rob Wilson