CANADA STOCKS-Gold powers TSX to a strong gain
* TSX rises 97.06 points, or 0.74 percent, to 13,276.01
* Eight of 10 main groups higher
* Gold prices hit record high (Adds details, analyst's comments)
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rallied late on Monday and closed strongly higher as record gold prices pushed up resource stocks.
Bullion prices climbed to a record high of $1,427.01 an ounce, helping to lift the index's heavyweight materials group 1.99 percent. [GOL/]
Barrick Gold ABX.TO rose 1.9 percent to C$55.25, and Agnico Eagle AEM.TO jumped 3.13 percent to C$87.91. Goldcorp G.TO was up 1.93 percent at C$48.16.
Copper prices climbed to a three-week high, sending Teck Resources TCKb.TO up 3.39 percent to C$56.72.
Meanwhile, Silver Wheaton SLW.TO soared 4.83 percent to C$41.27 on the back of silver prices that rose above $30 an ounce for the first time since 1980.
Ongoing worries over the European debt crisis and speculation about further monetary policy easing in the United States helped fuel the rise in metals prices. [MET/]
"It really is the materials side that seems to be pushing our market very recently, and that seems to be wanting to carry on again," said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod. "Obviously the demand is rather significant and it's coming from all around the world."
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 97.06 points, or 0.74 percent, at 13,276.01. The rally came late in the day and the index was only modestly higher for much of the session.
"When you start and look at some of the larger gainers here on the day, they're spread throughout a number of sectors," Ketchen said. "No matter where you look, there are some impressive gains."
All but two of the TSX's 10 main groups were higher. Bucking the trend were healthcare stocks, which fell 1.12 percent, and bank stocks, which were down 0.36 percent.
Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO fell 1.9 percent to C$70.86, while Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO was off 1.18 percent at C$52.62. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce CM.TO declined 2.05 percent to C$76.89.
"There was some disappointment with last week's bank earnings," said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada.
Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO offset some of the declines, rising 0.88 percent to C$56.12 following news that it acquired a bank in Uruguay and a consumer-finance company as part of its Latin American expansion strategy. [ID:nN06202772]
Another big gainer was the technology sector, which was up 2 percent. Research In Motion RIM.TO hit a 6-1/2 month closing high, up 1.67 percent at C$63.85, helped by recent positive analysts' comments about its PlayBook tablet, which is due out next year.
In individual company stocks, Air Canada ACa.TO was up 1.84 percent at C$3.87, while WestJet Airlines WJA.TO rose 1.63 percent to C$14.30 after the Canadian carriers said demand was stronger in November. [ID:nN06200402]
($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Peter Galloway)
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