TSX closes higher, rally in gold stocks offsets weaker energy
By Fergal Smith
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index closed higher on Friday, helped by a rally in gold stocks and firming in financials, while weakness in crude oil prices weighed on the energy sector.
The rally in gold miners was "the big feature," according to John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada, adding that they "were very oversold."
Gold futures GCc1 rallied more than $22, while U.S. crude oil prices settled below $40 a barrel after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries failed to agree on a new production quota.
Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote) advanced 7.1 percent to C$10.81, while Goldcorp Inc G.TO was up 5.8 percent at C$17.03.
The overall materials sector, which includes miners, fertilizer companies and lumber producers, rose more than 3 percent.
Financials rose 0.5 percent, including a 0.9 percent gain for Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) to C$54.77.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 34.1 points, or 0.26 percent, at 13,358.77, but little changed for the week.
Seven of the index's 10 main groups were in positive territory. Continued...