UPDATE 3-Toronto stocks leap on robust resources

Thu May 8, 2008 5:27pm EDT
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(Adds comments, details, U.S. numbers)

By Cameron French

TORONTO May 8 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index surged late to finish the session up more than 200 points on Thursday as rising commodity prices prices lit a fire under shares of gold and energy producers.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE rose 236.46 points, or 1.65 percent, to close at 14,607.99.

Nine of the 10 TSX subgroups rose during the session, led by a 3.03 gain among energy stocks and a 3.36 percent surge in materials issues, particularly among gold mining companies.

"We were led by the traditional leaders in Canada, the energy, golds and mines," said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall and MacTier.

The S&P/TSX 60 index of Canadian blue chips rose 16.42 points, or 1.92 percent, to 869.45.

Crude oil prices surged to a fourth-straight record high during the session, pushing above $124 a barrel and igniting shares of heavyweight producers such as Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote), which rose 4.6 percent to C$96, and Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote), up 4.3 percent at C$126.25.

Top gold producer Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote) leaped 4.6 percent to C$41.00 as bullion prices charged above $880 an ounce.   Continued...