CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as gold price up, financials rebound

Thu Feb 5, 2009 12:47pm EST
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* Materials group leads TSX higher as gold price up

* Financials rebound, up 1.3 percent at midday

* Bombardier down, Magna up after layoff announcements (Recasts, adds quote, details, updates figures)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was higher at midday on Thursday, lifted by strength in mining companies as gold prices got a boost from safe-haven buying, while financials shares rebounded on hope for the U.S. banking sector.

The resource-laden materials group rose 2.9 percent and led the index higher. Among gainers were miners Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote), up 2.8 percent at C$47.00, and Kinross (K.TO: Quote), up 3.3 percent at C$22.19.

"Gold appears to be the one bright spot in the market again," said Michael Sprung, president at Sprung & Co. Investment Counsel.

The big financial services sector also helped the index, fighting back from an earlier drop of 1.6 percent. At midday it was up 1.3 percent.

The rebound in financial shares occurred as U.S. stocks hit a session high, with traders citing speculation about changes to mark-to-market accounting rules, a requirement for recognition of losses that has resulted in billions of dollars of writedowns for U.S. banks. [ID:nN05504658]   Continued...