Gold stocks shine in TSX's third day of gains

Wed Oct 7, 2009 4:54pm EDT
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By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index put together a late rally to book a third-straight day of triple-digit gains on Wednesday as gold prices rose to a record high and lifted shares of gold producers such as Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) and Goldcorp G.TO.

Gold mining shares built on strong gains from the previous session and Barrick shares were among the key drivers of the index's gain. Barrick was up 1.3 percent at C$41.77, while Goldcorp rose 1.1 percent to C$44.71.

The rally was supported by another record-setting day for the price of gold, which neared $1,050 per ounce, as mounting worries about inflation pulled more investors toward the precious metal. <GOL/>

The index was up only modestly for most of the day, held up by gold miners and other stocks in the materials group, until the last hour, when almost all the index's components turned higher.

Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada in Montreal, said it was quiet ahead of Alcoa results, which kick off U.S. earnings season, as market players held positions after two strong sessions.

After market close, aluminum producer Alcoa posted a surprise profit after three quarterly losses, mainly because of cost savings and an increase in aluminum prices.

Notable risers included Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote), which ended as the top two heavyweight gainers. Royal was up 1.2 percent at C$56.31, while TD gained 1.53 percent to C$65.80.

Most energy shares were under pressure, including EnCana (ECA.TO: Quote), as the price of oil slipped more than 1 percent to below $70 a barrel. Encana topped all heavyweight decliners, falling 0.7 percent to C$60.97.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 101.91 points, or 0.91 percent, at 11,349.88.

(Editing by Peter Galloway)

<p>A Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) logo is seen in Toronto November 9, 2007. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>