CANADA STOCKS-TSX rallies to 5-month high on gold, U.S. data

Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:07pm EST
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* TSX ends up 77.90 pts, or 0.6 pct, at 12,701.26

* At highest level since Sept. 7, 2011

* Materials issues rise, financials fall

* U.S. housing data boosts sentiment

* Weak euro zone, China data weigh

By Jon Cook

TORONTO, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Canadian stocks rose to a five-month high on Wednesday as gold-mining issues surged 2 percent on higher bullion prices and strong U.S. housing data.

Bullion hit a three-month high as technical buying helped the precious metal surpass a key resistance level near $1,765 an ounce.

"Right now you're looking at gold and it looks like it wants to break out again," said Levente Mady, market strategist at Union Securities. "If we get past $1,800, the next stop is $1,925 and other than that the sky's the limit."   Continued...