CANADA STOCKS-TSX edges higher as gold-mining shares gain
* TSX up 33.87 points, or 0.26 percent, at 13,212.82
* Six of the 10 main groups lower
* Gold prices drive gold miners higher
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose on Monday morning as higher gold prices pushed up heavyweight gold miners. Bullion was near its highest level since mid-November after Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke hinted on Sunday at further monetary policy easing. [ID:nN05271909]
Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) rose 1.25 percent to C$54.90 while Goldcorp G.TO climbed 1.02 percent to C$47.73. Agnico Eagle AEM.TO, also a major gold producer, advanced 1.15 percent to C$86.22. The index's materials group, home to mining stocks, was up 1.38 percent. [GOL/]
"At $1,400 an ounce finally it seems the big, large-cap gold producers are reacting to this after really shrugging it off ... we're seeing multi-year highs for some of these stocks and that's what bringing the TSX further gains," said Barry Schwartz, vice president and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.
The Fed could buy more than the $600 billion in U.S. government bonds it has committed to purchasing if the economy fails to respond or unemployment stays too high, Bernanke said on the U.S. news program "60 minutes" on Sunday.
"If you believe that the U.S. is going to continue to be in poor economic shape for years to come, you may want to own an alternative currency," said Schwartz.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE climbed 33.87 points, or 0.26 percent, to 13,212.82.
Six of the index's 10 main groups were lower, however, with the heavily weighted financial group leading the decliners.
Oil prices rallied as high as $89.76 early on Monday, trading around a 26-month high before easing against the U.S. dollar. The greenback strengthened against the euro, which was weighed down by debt worries. [O/R] [FRX/]
The index's energy group inched higher and was up 0.55 percent, helped by independent oil producer Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote), which was up 1.96 percent at C$42.71.
Research In Motion RIM.TO, which climbed 1.48 percent to C$63.73, helped lift the tech group 1.44 percent higher.
In individual company news, the Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote), which announced itn is acquiring Uruguay's No. 4 private bank, rose 0.49 percent to C$55.91. [nN06202772]
($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Peter Galloway)
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