UPDATE 2-Toronto stock index climbs on oil, gold highs

Wed Mar 5, 2008 5:14pm EST
 
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(Updates with official closing numbers, adds details)

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.

Overall, six of the TSX index's 10 main groups were up, with the materials group 2.3 percent higher, and energy 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 and a record low U.S. dollar.

In Toronto, 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.

Oil prices hit a record near $105 a barrel on Wednesday as OPEC decided to maintain output levels and data showed a sharp draw in U.S. crude inventories.

Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO closed C$1.50, or 2 percent, higher at C$76.45. Talisman Energy TLM.TO was up 67 Canadian cents, or 4 percent, at C$17.62.

Toronto's key index gained more than 170 points early in the day before losing some traction as the banking sector reversed course amid disappointment over a capital raising plan from U.S. bond insurer Ambac Financial Group.   Continued...