TSX rides railways, gold price to higher close

Tue Nov 3, 2009 4:45pm EST
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By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index shot higher on Tuesday as gold prices hit a record high above $1,080 an ounce, boosting Barrick Gold Corp and other gold miners.

Barrick rose 6.6 percent to C$41.97 and Goldcorp climbed 7 percent to C$42.96. Yamana Gold shot 7.6 percent higher to C$12.54. The index's materials group, home to miners and fertilizer companies, finished the day up 4.1 percent.

The price of gold hit a record high at $1,080 an ounce on Tuesday, as investors embraced news of the International Monetary Fund's 200 ton sale of gold to India's central bank.

As well, strength in railway stocks helped to lift the index after news that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway will buy rail company Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp in a $26 billion deal.

"There's some commentary that suggests this is a bet on the United States and the economy going forward," said Rick Meslin, head of Canadian equities at UBS. "Mr. Buffett still carries a lot of weight and him calling the rails a value bet is saying a lot about the overall industrial sector."

Canadian National Railway shares climbed 1.8 percent to C$53.50, while Canadian Pacific Railway shares rose 3.2 percent to C$48.75.

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 147.55 points, or 1.36 percent, at 11,025.90. Earlier it had fallen more than 1 percent to 10,751.72.

(Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway)

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