UPDATE 3-Toronto stocks push higher on robust oils, golds

Wed Mar 5, 2008 5:39pm EST
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(Adds details, analyst comments)

By Natalie Armstrong

TORONTO, March 5 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index rallied strongly on Wednesday, buoyed by robust resource issues as oil and gold prices hit record highs.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE officially closed up 126.51 points, or 0.9 percent, at 13,603.32.

"Investors are selling down anything related to the consumer," said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.

"With a slowing economy, slowing income growth, higher energy prices, consumers would probably rather heat their homes than buy new clothes or buy other discretionary items."

Overall, six of the TSX index's 10 main groups were up, with the materials group 2.3 percent higher, and energy issues rising 2.0 percent.

The gold producers subindex, part of the materials group, jumped 10.8 percent as bullion hit a record near $1,000 an ounce on Wednesday, boosted by strong oil prices and a record low U.S. dollar.

Kinross Gold K.TO rose C$1.19, or 4.8 percent, to C$26.05, and Goldcorp G.TO was up C$1.41, or 3.3 percent, at C$43.88.   Continued...