UPDATE 4-Toronto stocks eke out gain with help of miners

Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:02pm EST
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(Adds details, analyst comments)

By Jonathan Spicer

TORONTO Feb 15 (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: Quote).

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: Quote) rose 96 Canadian cents, or 2.6 percent, to C$37.19, while fertilizer producer Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO: Quote) climbed 84 Canadian cents, or 0.6 percent, to C$149.35.   Continued...