CANADA STOCKS-TSX follows gold miners to higher close

Wed Mar 11, 2009 4:30pm EDT
 
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* Key TSX index rises 130.61 points to close at 8,011.02

* Rally in gold-mining shares headlines latest gain

* Lower oil prices hit energy shares, limiting TSX gain (Adds details, comments and official numbers)

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, March 11 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index closed higher for a second straight session on Wednesday as rising bullion prices helped lift gold-mining issues, which more than offset a weaker energy sector.

The materials sector, which makes up about 20 percent of the index and is home to the shares of gold-mining companies, rallied 5 percent to lead all other sectors and allowed the TSX to tack on to the 300-point gain it recorded on Tuesday.

Shares of Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote), the biggest contributor to the index's gain, rallied 6 percent to C$35.34, while Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) followed with a jump of 5.9 percent to C$36.00.

The surge in shares of gold-mining stocks came as the price of gold bounced back above $900 an ounce, due partly to safe-haven buying as economic fears lingered.

"It really is an encouraging sign to see the markets trade higher for the second straight day because that hasn't happened too often in recent weeks or even months," said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.   Continued...