UPDATE 3-Toronto stocks make huge gain on U.S. rescue plans

Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:56pm EDT
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* TSX benchmark index surges more than 7 pct

* Financials climb on news of U.S. rescue plans

* Energy issues rise as oil rebounds to $100 a barrel (Adds details, background)

TORONTO, Sept 19 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index soared to its biggest gain since 1987 on Friday, as a series of U.S.-led moves to shore up the global financial system sparked a resource-led rally across all stock sectors.

The market's energy and materials sectors led the way with gains of 8.9 percent and 9.6 percent.

Liquidity was restored to troubled markets by a U.S. plan to take over hundreds of billions of dollars worth of toxic mortgage debt and to slap a temporary ban on short-selling.

The moves, which followed a coordinated effort by central banks on Thursday to inject billions into the financial system, also sent the previously underperforming financials sector up 5.7 percent to its highest level in three months.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE rose 848.42 points, or 7.03 percent, to finish at its session-high of 12,912.99, marking its largest one-day percentage gain since the aftermath of the October 1987 stock market crash.

"You only get days like this once in a blue moon," said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC Capital Markets.   Continued...