UPDATE 2-Toronto stocks remain buoyant on gold, energy

Wed Jan 2, 2008 11:19am EST
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(Updates with details, analyst comment)

TORONTO Jan 2 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index began the year with an jump on Wednesday but then pared some of those gains as soft financials partly offset soaring gold and energy issues.

The price of spot gold reached a 28-year high, lifting the TSX gold subsector 3.6 percent.

Meanwhile, violence in OPEC members Nigeria and Algeria helped boost the price of U.S. crude oil. Energy-sector buyers were also emboldened by firm natural gas futures.

"The energy index hasn't moved very much with costs going up faster than the commodity prices," said Glenn MacNeill, vice-president of investments at Sentry Select Capital Corp.

"The (energy) industry needs to get its costs back down."

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 86.65 points, or 0.6 percent, at 13,919.71 by mid-morning, with the materials group ahead 2.6 percent and energy up 1.6 percent.

The index rose as much as 112 points earlier in the session.

Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) climbed C$2.57 to C$44.34 and Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) added C$2.18 to C$35.98.   Continued...