Toronto stocks eke out gain with help of miners

Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:20pm EST
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By Jonathan Spicer

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index closed modestly higher on Friday as rising gold miners and other materials stocks offset softness in banks and disappointing results from Telus Corp T.TO.

The market dropped more than 100 points midway through the session, mirroring a drop in major U.S. markets, which were rattled by concerns over consumer spending.

But strong materials stocks helped the index cap off a relatively flat week with a small victory.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE rose 18.73 points, or 0.14 percent, to 13,226.76 on Friday. On the week it advanced 1.8 percent.

"We're getting a lot of continued strength in the commodities sectors ... things like copper and aluminum, as well as agricultural commodities, have been going absolutely crazy here," said Levente Mady, a broker at MF Global Canada in Vancouver.

Materials stocks jumped 1 percent, with gold producers up 1.2 percent and base metal miners 0.9 percent higher, despite softer metal prices.

Goldcorp G.TO rose 96 Canadian cents, or 2.6 percent, to C$37.19, while fertilizer producer Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO climbed 84 Canadian cents, or 0.6 percent, to C$149.35.

Agnico Eagle Mines AEM.TO rose 73 Canadian cents, or 1.2 percent, to C$63.20 on news the company's gold reserves were up 33 percent at the end of 2007.   Continued...

<p>A man walks past a sign showing the results of the Toronto Stock Exchange in Toronto August 16, 2007. REUTERS/Peter Jones</p>