CANADA STOCKS-TSX broadly higher, eyes best year since 1983

Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:54am EST
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 * TSX up 0.29 percent at 11,751.85
 * Nine of index's 10 sectors gain
 * Index may be on track for best year since 1983
 (Adds details)
 TORONTO, Dec 31 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was
higher on Thursday morning -- and looked on track to record its
best year since 1983 -- following along as global markets, gold
and oil were all up on the final trading day of 2009.
 At 10:25 a.m. (1525 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE was up 34.39 points, or 0.29 percent, at 11,751.85.
Nine of the TSX's 10 main groups were higher, including the
three biggest sectors of the index -- energy, materials and
financials -- which make up three-quarters of its weighting.
 Energy shares were among the biggest heavyweight movers,
lifted by an oil price that was steady above $79 a barrel.
EnCana ECA.TO gained 0.44 percent to C$34.41, while Canadian
Natural Resources CNQ.TO rose 0.2 percent to C$76.15.
 Gold miners, part of the materials group, advanced as the
price of gold topped $1,100 an ounce. Barrick Gold ABX.TO was
up 0.19 percent at C$41.78, and Goldcorp G.TO rose 0.3
percent to C$41.22.
 "Commodities are definitely acting well. Gold, natural gas,
oil, copper, pretty much every commodity I'm looking at is
showing green," said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at
MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier. "The Canadian market looks
quite strong, and it tells me investors still want to invest in
Canadian assets and Canadian dollars."
 The Canadian dollar was firmer against the U.S. currency on
Thursday morning after a brief knee-jerk move lower after data
showed weekly U.S. jobless claims hit a 17-month low. [CAD/]
 Financial shares were also on the rise, up for a fourth
straight session, fueled by the optimistic U.S. economic data.
 Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO was up 0.75 percent at
C$65.89, while Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO advanced 0.36
percent to C$56.34.
 Entering the session, Canada's main stock index was up 30.4
percent, which could put it on track for its best year since
1983, when the composite index recorded a 30.35 percent annual
 "As long as interest rates remain low, I think economies
around the world will continue to do better," Nakamoto said.
"The stock market should continue to do well, not as well as
2009, but certainly better than what you could get in
fixed-income instruments."
 Canadian markets will be closed on Friday, Jan. 1.
 ($1=$1.05 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)