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.

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.   Continued...