CANADA STOCKS-Energy drives TSX to highest close since October

Tue Sep 8, 2009 4:58pm EDT
 
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 * TSX up 87.83 points, or 0.8 pct, to 11,105.30
 * Touches highest level since October 2008
 * Energy sector ends 2.45 percent higher
 (Adds details, comments, official numbers)
 By Frank Pingue
 TORONTO, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
raced to its loftiest level in nearly a year on Tuesday as a
surge in commodity prices helped lift the resource-heavy index
to its fourth straight higher close.
 The latest rally was driven by the weighty energy sector,
which rose 2.45 percent alongside a move in oil prices to back
above $70 a barrel. [O/R]
 Shares of Suncor Energy SU.TO, the biggest driver behind
the overall rally, rose 3 percent to C$35.04, while Canadian
Natural Resources CNQ.TO closed up 3.45 percent at C$65.70
 The rally in the energy sector comes ahead of Wednesday's
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting, when
most analysts expect the group, the source of more than a third
of the world's oil supply, to maintain official output levels.
 The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended the session up
87.83 points, or 0.8 percent, at 11,105.30. However, that was
well off the session high reached moments after the open, when
the TSX shot ahead 1.4 percent to its highest level since Oct.
3, 2008.
 And while it backed off by the close, it still ended the
session a whopping 48 percent above the five-year low it
tumbled to in March.
 Analysts did not put much weight on the market's latest
rally, which came after the Labor Day holiday weekend at a time
when liquidity remains light and moves can often be volatile.
 "Up to now, the markets have been very thin and generally
it takes a couple weeks after Labor Day for a lot of committees
to meet and decide on a definite plan of action," said Irwin
Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds.
 "Three weeks from tomorrow you've got not only the end of
the month but end of the quarter, and a little bit of
performance anxiety here for a number of people who might be
underweighted in equities."
 Keeping the broader index from hanging onto its early gains
was a reversal in shares of gold-miners, which turned lower as
the price of gold backed off an earlier move through the $1,000
per ounce psychological barrier. [GOL/]
 Shares of Barrick Gold ABX.TO ended down 2.4 percent at
C$42.45, while Goldcorp G.TO shares shed 1.5 percent to close
at C$44.29. The broader materials group, home to gold miners,
ended unchanged.
 ($1=$1.08 Canadian)
 (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)