UPDATE 4-Resources lead charge as Toronto stocks soar

Fri Dec 28, 2007 4:53pm EST
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By Wojtek Dabrowski

TORONTO Dec 28 (Reuters) - The main index of the Toronto Stock Exchange rallied almost 150 points on Friday, as resource shares piggybacked on stronger gold prices to lead a broad-based rally.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE rose 145.77 points, or 1.07 percent, to close at 13,821.34 in the second-last session of 2007.

Of the TSX's 10 main subgroups, nine rose. The gainers included energy and the resource-laden materials sector, which added 1.28 percent and 2.2 percent respectively.

"We've got strong gold prices, which are certainly helping us here," said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod.

U.S. gold futures for February settled $10.90 higher at $842.70 an ounce, building on a weak U.S. dollar and geopolitical uncertainty after the assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

This helped Toronto-listed gold companies such as Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote), which added C$2.45, or 6.2 percent, to hit C$42.03. Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO: Quote) rose C$2.97, or 5.9 percent, to C$53.50 and was the day's top net gainer.

Gold is seen as a safe-haven investment and the price often rises during times of unrest.   Continued...