* TSX rises 40.37 points, or 0.26 percent, to 15,292.57
* Eight of the TSX's 10 main groups climb
TORONTO Dec 19 Canada's main stock index rose
for the third straight day on Monday, led by the industrial and
materials groups, while shares of BlackBerry Ltd climbed as it
opened an autonomous driving research center.
At 11:35 a.m. EST (1635 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index was up 40.37 points, or 0.26
percent, to 15,292.57.
Eight of the TSX's 10 main groups gained ground as investors
turned attention to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's speech
at the University of Baltimore, less than a week after the U.S.
central bank raised benchmark interest rates.
The index fell the most in one month on Wednesday when the
Fed raised rates for the first time in a year.
The most influential movers on the index included Brookfield
Asset Management Inc, which rose 0.5 percent to
C$44.86, and Canadian National Railway, which advanced
0.6 percent to C$90.00
Industrials gained 0.5 percent, while financials firmed 0.1
Brazil will challenge government funding for Bombardier Inc
at the World Trade Organization (WTO), escalating the
latest trade spat between the Canadian jet maker and its
Brazilian rival Embraer SA.
Still, Bombardier's shares rose more than 5 percent for the
second straight day, up 5.9 percent at C$2.17.
Toronto-based insurance group Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd
has agreed to buy Swiss insurer Allied World Assurance
Company Holdings AG for $4.9 billion in cash and stock,
the companies said on Sunday.
Shares of Fairfax fell 2 percent to C$601.95.
BlackBerry Ltd opened an autonomous driving research
center, trying to make itself an indispensable under-the-hood
piece of the automotive industry's weaponry in the self-driving
vehicle arms race.
Shares of the Ontario-based smartphone pioneer rose 3.7
percent to C$10.48, while CGI Group Inc climbed 1.8
percent to C$64.14 and the overall information technology group
gained 1.2 percent.
Healthcare advanced nearly 5 percent, with Valeant
Pharmaceuticals Inc jumping 5.2 percent to C$19.82.
Energy was little changed as oil seesawed.
U.S. crude prices were down 0.3 percent at $51.74 a
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals
miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.7 percent, with Agnico
Eagle Mines Ltd rising 4 percent at C$51.71.
Copper producer First Quantum Minerals Ltd fell 1.3
percent to C$14.09.
The price of copper slid to a four-week low as
inventories showed their biggest one-day rise in 15 years.
Gold futures rose 0.3 percent to $1,138.6 an ounce.
(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by James Dalgleish)