CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends up on stronger energy; gold price weighs

Mon Feb 9, 2009 4:52pm EST
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* Energy group leads TSX higher; up 5 straight sessions

* Resource-laden materials slump 3 pct as gold slides

* U.S. stimulus packages eyed, delay announced

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TORONTO, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index closed slightly higher on Monday to log five straight sessions of gains on strength in energy issues, but weakness in the influential materials group due to sliding gold prices kept the rise in check.

The big energy sector led the TSX higher, rising 2.5 percent, even as the price of oil CLc1 settled lower at $39.56 as demand concerns overcame talk of OPEC production cuts. [ID:nSYD420106]. Financials, up 1.2 percent, also supported the market.

Heavily-weighted stocks on the upside included Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote), up 4.3 percent at C$47.36, and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote), which rose 1.9 percent to C$31.17.

The market saw a "nice pop" earlier in the day on U.S. stimulus hope, but faded as the big materials sector tugged the market lower, said Sal Masionis, stockbroker at Brant Securities.

The proposed massive stimulus faced another day of political wrangling. The U.S. government was also due to set out a bank bailout plan on Monday, but that announcement was delayed until Tuesday. [ID:nN09524347]   Continued...