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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York on August 22, 2017.

BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS

Canada's main stock index rose on Tuesday as higher commodity prices lent support to its energy and mining stocks, although a fall in gold prices weighed on bullion producers.

The energy group climbed 0.5 per cent as oil prices pushed higher, with pipeline operator Enbridge Inc adding 1.1 per cent to C$49.92 and PrairieSky Royalty Ltd up 1.7 per cent to C$28.27.

The energy sector, which accounts for one-fifth of the index, has weighed heavily on it so far this year, having fallen almost 25 per cent.

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At 12:04 p.m. ET, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX Composite Index was up 30.35 points, or 0.20 per cent, at 14,982.23.

Seven of the index's 10 main groups were in positive territory.

Base metals miners also gained, with buying interest stoked by copper prices hitting a three-year high and nickel touching its strongest in eight months.

First Quantum Minerals Ltd was up 1.6 per cent to C$13.76, and Teck Resources Ltd added 0.6 per cent to C$30.07.

The materials group, which includes base and precious metal miners as well as fertilizer companies, lost 0.1 per cent overall as gold prices fell.

Wheaton Precious Metals Corp was down 1.2 per cent at C$23.84, and Kinross Gold Corp lost 1.7 per cent to C$5.28.

Statistics Canada reported that retail sales hit a record C$48.99-billion in June and were up in six of the 11 sectors. They grew by 1.1 per cent when weak auto sales and lower gasoline prices were excluded.

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The robust data bolstered expectations the Bank of Canada could raise interest rates in October.

U.S. stocks were higher in late morning trading on Tuesday, with the three major indexes poised for their best one-day percentage gains in more than a week, led by a bounce in technology and materials companies.

Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with the heavyweight tech index up 1.2 per cent, rising for the first time in four days.

The materials index jumped more than 1 per cent, poised for its best day in four weeks, boosted by rising commodity and metals prices.

London copper rose to a three-year high, zinc held close to its highest in a decade and nickel reached a 2017 high as mostly technical signals prompted speculators and funds to pour more cash into base metals.

The absence of major news from the White House and on the tensions between the United States and North Korea – two major factors that roiled the market in the past two weeks – also helped calm nerves.

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"As the pockets of political worries that have caused short-term spikes and volatility ebb and flow, the market is rightfully focused on the solid fundamentals," said Brent Schutte, chief investment strategist for Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company.

"We've had a decent economic backdrop against moderate inflation. As long as inflation remains moderate, I think the market continues to move higher".

At 12:07 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 156.99 points, or 0.72 per cent, at 21,860.74.

So far, 243 stocks have hit new 52-week highs, while 230 have hit fresh 52-week lows across U.S. exchanges. If the ratio holds, it will mark the first time in ten sessions that more stocks have hit highs than lows.

Investors also await the annual central bankers meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, starting Thursday. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's speech on Friday will be closely watched for a steer on U.S. monetary policy, but central bank observers do not expect her to give new guidance.

Among stocks, Freeport jumped 3.9 per cent on news that Indonesia expects to strike an agreement this month to allow the miner to keep operating its copper mine in Papua.

Macy's was up more than 4 per cent after announcing a restructuring and job cuts.

Coty tumbled about 13 per cent after the beauty products maker posted a surprise quarterly loss.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,981 to 759. On the Nasdaq, 1,921 issues rose and 776 fell.

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