CANADA STOCKS-TSX closes higher again after Fed surprise

Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:21pm EDT
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* TSX rallies 69.50 points to 8,629.10

* Index erases earlier skid of 3 percent

* Gold miners drive latest equity gain (Adds details, comments and official numbers)

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, March 18 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index closed higher on Wednesday for a seventh straight session after a surprise move by the U.S. Federal Reserve to revive the battered U.S. economy bolstered investor confidence.

The U.S. central bank said it would spend up to $300 billion to buy long-term U.S. Treasuries for the first time in four decades. Investors saw the program as a fresh way of promoting financial stability, raising hope for an earlier recovery by Canada's largest trading partner. [ID:nN18343369]

The news sparked an instant rally in North American equities and brought Toronto's key index to its highest close since Feb. 13. Earlier in the session, it had fallen by as much as 3 percent.

The massive spending program also stirred concern over inflation, boosting bullion prices along with a handful of gold-mining shares.

Among the issues that led the TSX higher, Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote) jumped 8.85 percent to close at C$39.85, while Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) ended up 9.18 percent at C$39.60.   Continued...