4 Min Read
* TSX jumps 430 points in broad rally
* Gold, energy shares win over weak financials
* Index still down 9.9 percent from last week (Adds detail, comments)
By Wojtek Dabrowski
TORONTO, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Surging commodity prices propelled gold and energy shares to a big win over weak financials on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Friday, as the volatile session ended with a gain of more than 5.5 percent.
Every one of the 10 main subgroups of the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE rose by the end of the day, despite earlier volatility that saw the benchmark wheeling wildly between positive and negative territory.
The composite closed up 430.63 points, or 5.57 percent, at 8,155.39. Earlier in the day, the benchmark hit a low of 7647.11.
But even with Friday's broad rally, the TSX was still down 9.9 percent for the week.
Energy issues and the resource-heavy materials group rose 9.9 percent and 19 percent, respectively.
Gold surged more than 5 percent as investors once again flocked to the asset as a safe-haven during a recession. Oil rose 1 percent as stock markets recovered, also receiving a boost from a weaker U.S. dollar.
It was little surprise, then, that gold and oil companies figured prominently among the day's biggest net gainers. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) rose 32.5 percent to close at C$35.50. Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) surged 21.2 percent to C$41.80.
In the oil patch, EnCana Corp (ECA.TO) shot up 10.9 percent to end at C$48.66. Petrobank Energy PBG.TO rose 24.3 percent to C$21.75.
Financials, which were battered lower almost all day, recovered to finish 0.34 percent higher.
Investors in Canada and the United States kept a close eye on the plummeting shares of Citigroup (C.N) throughout the session, as speculation swirled the banking giant may sell major businesses to shore up its health.
"When Citigroup is getting hit like this, I mean it's just unbelievable," said Sal Masionis, a stockbroker at Brant Securities, adding that Canadian banks were also suffering as a result. "It's just brutal."
"It's pretty clear that no financial institution is safe from some of the headwinds or the crosswinds going on in the financial system," said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.
He also said it was worrying that, despite all of the actions of central bankers around the world, the equity markets remain in a slump.
"So what ammunition is out there to get the markets going?"
Citigroup is one of the banks underwriting the C$34.8 billion buyout of Canadian telecom giant BCE Inc (BCE.TO). Worries about the bank's health dragged on BCE shares on Friday, sinking the stock 2.7 percent to C$34.55 -- well below the buyout price of C$42.75 a share.
Reports that U.S. President-elect Barack Obama had chosen Federal Reserve Bank of New York head Timothy Geithner to be his treasury secretary also buoyed investor sentiment late in the trading day.
In the U.S., the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI jumped 494.13 points or 6.5 percent to close at 8,046.42 as the reports of Geithner's pending appointment sparked a late-day rally. The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 68.23 points or 5.2 percent to end at 1,384.35.
$1=$1.27 Canadian Reporting by Wojtek Dabrowski; editing by Rob Wilson