CANADA STOCKS-Toronto index rallies to four-week high

Tue Dec 30, 2008 6:01pm EST
 
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* Toronto stocks climb 2.24 percent in broad rally

* Telecoms, consumer issues, financials lead way

* Materials subgroup the sole loser (Adds comments, details)

By Jeffrey Jones

CALGARY, Alberta, Dec 30 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index climbed to its highest level in more than four weeks on Tuesday as a broad-based year-end rally offset weakness in mining shares due to lower gold prices.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE jumped 193.43 points, or 2.24 percent, to close at 8,830.72 in a second straight session of triple-digit gains.

With the exception of the materials group, which includes gold-mining stocks, all of the TSX's 10 main sectors staged gains on the penultimate trading day of 2008. Telecommunications rose 4.7 percent, consumer discretionary issues gained 4.4 percent and financials climbed 3.3 percent.

It was the index's highest close since Nov. 28, but still represents a drop of 36 percent this year due to the global economic meltdown and steep drops in commodity prices.

"One point to make, as always at this time of year, is how small the volumes are, so therefore it doesn't take much to move it," said Gavin Graham, director of investments at BMO Asset Management.   Continued...