CANADA STOCKS-TSX follows gold miners to higher close
* TSX rises 56.27 points to 11,394.99
* TSX closes higher for second session in row
* Gold-miners power latest rally (Adds details and comments)
By Frank Pingue
TORONTO, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose on Tuesday as shares of gold miners rallied on increased optimism about the outlook for the industry and bullion prices as they held near $1,000 an ounce.
Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote), the biggest contributor to the overall gain, rose 3.5 percent to C$43.28, followed by Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO: Quote), up 2.8 percent at C$40.67.
Kinross Gold K.TO chipped in with a gain of 4.8 percent to C$23.43 as the company told Bloomberg News said it could see a 57 percent rise in gold production over the next five years if it goes ahead with new mines and expansions.[ID:nN29162295]
The rally in gold miners helped lift the index's materials group 1.92 percent, the biggest gain among the TSX's 10 sectors. The utilities group, down 0.14 percent, was the only sector in lower territory.
"It's definitely the gold stocks that have been the standout performers today as gold is still very close to the $1,000 per ounce level," said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.
"But there was not much conviction in the move since there is just one session left for the quarter and so the buyers are just sticking to the sidelines for now."
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished the session up 56.27 points, or 0.5 percent, at 11,394.99. It was the TSX's second straight higher close since it fell on Friday to its lowest level in nearly two weeks.
Capping the gain in the TSX were a handful of influential energy shares that slipped alongside oil prices as the U.S. government lowered its estimate for July oil demand. [O/R]
That helped drag shares of Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) down 1.2 percent to C$72.50 while shares of Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) fell 0.8 percent to C$37.20.
Earlier in the session the TSX gained some support from data showing consumer confidence in Canada improved for the seventh straight month in September. [ID:nN29135851]
"If people are feeling better about their circumstances, presumably that's because they're feeling more comfortable about their jobs and they're not going to be defaulting on their mortgages and their credit cards, which obviously is good news for financials," said Gavin Graham, director of investments at BMO Asset Management.
Among financial shares buoying the TSX, Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) rose 0.89 percent to C$69.49, while Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) gained 1 percent to C$48.94. The financial sector, which accounts for about 33 percent of the index, ended the session 0.25 percent higher.
($1=$1.09 Canadian) (Additional reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Frank McGurty)
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