CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends higher after volatile session; golds rise

Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:57pm EST
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* Materials, energy lead to overcome financials drag

* Gold issues shine for second consecutive session

* TSX nearly flat so far this year (Adds details)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Toronto's key stock index finished higher on Friday after a seesaw session in which the financial sector was pressured by heightened concern about the health of the U.S. banking sector.

The heavyweight financial sector started the session with a quick rally, bolstered by the news that Bank of America BAC.N will receive a bailout from the U.S. government.

But the early gain fizzled and became the main drag on the index, which otherwise advanced in key sectors such as materials and energy.

The financial group finished down 1.45 percent as the market judged the rescue plan was not enough to overcome signs of more fallout from the credit crisis for the financial sector.

"There are still problems out there in terms of financial system so it will reflect upon financial service companies regardless of jurisdiction," said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.   Continued...