CANADA STOCKS-TSX climbs, led by resource shares as commodity prices rise

* TSX closes up 43.86 points, or 0.29 percent, to 15,149.14

* Seven of 10 main groups end higher
(Adds portfolio manager quotes and details; updates prices)

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO, July 11 (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index rose
on Tuesday as higher commodity prices boosted the shares of
resource companies, while investors awaited the Bank of Canada’s
interest rate decision on Wednesday which could produce the
first increase since 2010.

Money markets are nearly fully priced for a rate hike, data
from the overnight index swaps market shows.

“It sends a clear message to international investors that
the Canadian economy is doing fine,” said Ian Nakamoto, equity
specialist at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier, a division of
Raymond James.

“Obviously, the Bank of Canada would not be raising rates if
it thought it would cause a downturn in house prices.”

Investors have worried that a downturn in the country’s
housing market, which had been red-hot in cities such as Toronto
and Vancouver, could weigh on the economy.

Domestic data showed housing starts rose more than expected
in June as construction plans in and around Toronto remained
strong.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index
closed up 43.86 points, or 0.29 percent, to 15,149.14.

It was led by a 1.3 percent gain for the energy group as oil
prices climbed. Suncor Energy rose 2.0 percent to
C$37.26, while Canadian Natural Resources advanced 1.5
percent to C$37.50.

U.S. crude oil futures settled 64 cents higher at
$45.04 a barrel on reports showing forecast cuts in U.S. oil
production and a decline in European product stockpiles.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals
miners and fertilizer companies, added 1.2 percent.

Barrick Gold gained 0.9 percent to C$20.55 and Teck
Resources Ltd climbed 3.8 percent to C$24.55.

Gold futures rose 0.2 percent to $1,214.2 an ounce,
while copper prices advanced 0.9 percent to $5,877 a
tonne.

Seven of the index’s 10 main groups rose. It included a 0.1
percent gain for the financials group, which accounts
for about 30 percent of the index.

Shares of timber producers rose as wildfires in the western
province of British Columbia disrupted timber and mining
operations and forced thousands from their homes.

Also on the upside, shares of Alimentation Couche Tard
rose 1.4 percent to C$60.15 after TD Securities raised
its target to C$78 from C$75.
(Additional reporting by Leah Schnurr in Ottawa; Editing by
James Dalgleish)

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