CANADA STOCKS-Energy fuels TSX rise but gold drags

Mon Feb 9, 2009 5:27pm EST
 
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* TSX rises for 5th straight session, energy leads way

* Resource-laden materials slump 3 pct as gold slides

* U.S. stimulus packages eyed (Adds details, quote)

By Jennifer Kwan

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

The big energy sector rose 2.5 percent even though 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 oil company Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO, up 4.3 percent at C$47.36, and Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO, which rose 1.9 percent to C$31.17.

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

Masionis added that despite optimism over the massive U.S. stimulus package, there is still caution in the market over how well the measures will work.   Continued...