REFILE-CANADA STOCKS-TSX rides gold miners to higher close

Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:27pm EDT
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(Deletes extra word in headline)

* Index closes up 1.7 percent at 8,011.02

* Gold miners lead gains, financials also rise

* Lower oil prices hit energy shares (Adds details, comments, 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 group, which makes up about 20 percent of the index and is home to major gold-mining companies, rallied 5 percent to lead all other sectors and allowed the TSX to add another 130 points to Tuesday's 300-point gain.

Shares of Barrick Gold ABX.TO, the biggest contributor to the index's gain, rose 6 percent to C$35.34, while Goldcorp G.TO 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.   Continued...