TSX ends higher as golds gain

Mon Nov 7, 2011 5:27pm EST
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By Jon Cook

TORONTO (Reuters) - The TSX finished higher after a volatile session on Monday led by surging gold issues, as bullion prices gained on renewed concerns about the European debt crisis.

After Greek political unrest held the market's attention last week, investor focus switched to Italy, where speculation that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government was on the verge of collapse sparked fears the euro zone debt crisis could overwhelm the region's third largest economy.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's subindex of gold producers .SPTTGD, which often climbs on investor uncertainty, hit its highest point since September 22.

Goldcorp G.TO, finished up 3.6 percent at C$54.30, while Barrick Gold ABX.TO gained 2.5 percent to C$53.54, as bullion rose 2 percent and notched its biggest daily gain in two weeks.

"Given the weight of the TSX gold sector, which is roughly 13 percent, it's going to have a positive net effect for the broader index," said Sid Mokhtari, market technician and director of institutional equity research at CIBC World Markets.

The move by gold miners helped lift the broader materials sector, which rose 1.6 percent.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 53.73 points, or 0.43 percent, at 12,461.98, after touching a monthly high of 12,485.20.

The turmoil in Italy, one of Europe's biggest economies, extended the European debt malaise that has embraced the region and global markets for weeks.   Continued...