November 18, 2014 / 12:27 PM / in 3 years

TSX hits seven-week high as gold miners rally

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014.Mark Blinch

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index touched its highest level in seven weeks on Tuesday, driven by a jump in shares of gold miners and a broad rally in most other major sectors, as well as news that Japan will delay a sales tax increase.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who announced a snap election so he could seek a fresh mandate, said the planned rise in the sales tax to 10 percent would be delayed until April 2017.

The Canadian stock market tends to react sharply to global economic news since its index is heavily weighted with cyclical natural resource companies.

The gold-mining sector rose 5.2 percent, reflecting strength in the price of bullion. It has rallied in the last three sessions, recovering somewhat from a brutal selloff over the past month.

The Toronto stock market's benchmark TSX rose for a third session and is up nearly 10 percent from an eight-month low in October. The market has managed to shrug off a pullback in the energy sector, advancing in each of the last five weeks.

“It’s amazing how the TSX is approaching 15,000 once again, despite the continued decline in crude oil,” said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver.

“The TSX is being pulled along by the strong performances in the other groups in the index,” he added.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed up 90.47 points, or 0.61 percent, at 14,972.97. Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.

Among gold miners, Barrick Gold Corp jumped 6.9 percent to C$15.04, and Goldcorp Inc added 3.9 percent to C$24.08.

Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, advanced, with Bank of Nova Scotia climbing 0.6 percent to C$69.17.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc gained 3.9 percent to C$160.42, helping drive up the healthcare sector.

Editing by Peter Galloway and Diane Craft

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