CANADA STOCKS-Golds lead charge as TSX ends higher

Fri Jan 23, 2009 5:01pm EST
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* Commodities prop up TSX as financial issues weigh

* Materials surge as gold nears $900/oz

* Barrick takes the top spot on the exchange

* HudBay stock jumps on OSC ruling (Adds details, comments, updates to closing figures)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index marched 1.7 percent higher on Friday, carried by strength in gold and oil prices, but the gains were limited by weakness in the rest of the market.

Gold rose to nearly $900 an ounce for the first time since Oct. 10, which helped the TSX's resource-laden materials group gain 6.04 percent. The surge boosted Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) 9.2 percent to C$48.79, making it the the country's largest publicly traded company.

Nearly all fellow gold companies rode the bullion price higher, with some hitting their highest levels in months. [ID:nN23326148]

"It's the story of the day. Gold stocks are definitely leading the charge," said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.   Continued...