CANADA STOCKS-TSX rallies to highest close since Jan 9

Thu Apr 2, 2009 4:58pm EDT
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* TSX rises 131 points to 9,073.14

* Extends rally for third straight day

* Banks and energy issues drive gain (Adds details, comments, official numbers)

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, April 2 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index shot to its highest close in nearly three months on Thursday on hopes that actions agreed to at the G20 summit in London would help restore global growth.

News out of the G20, which included a trillion-dollar deal to help combat the global financial crisis, sparked a surge in oil prices and opened the door for the resource-heavy TSX to record its third straight day of gains. [ID:nL1230573]

Shares of Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO rallied 5 percent to close at C$53.38, while Suncor Energy SU.TO rose 5 percent to C$30.00.

"There's a little bit of confidence coming back into the market so people are putting some cash to work, but they are not sure if it's a short-covering rally or if it's the real McCoy," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds.

"So certain investors are giving the market the benefit of the doubt and they are putting their money to work."   Continued...