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TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index ended higher for a fourth straight session on Friday as gold miners rallied around record high bullion prices, offsetting the index's fall at the outset on weak jobs data that fueled worry about economic recovery.
Shares of Barrick Gold Corp, one of the biggest contributors to the TSX's rise, were up 3.1 percent at C$44.83, while Goldcorp shares rose 3 percent to C$44.48.
The price of gold extended gains to hit a record high above $1,100 per ounce on Friday, due largely to a weak U.S. jobs report.
The U.S. jobless rate unexpectedly jumped to a 26-1/2 year high of 10.2 percent last month.
"Gold is reacting to the bad news this morning that the unemployment rate in the U.S. is above expectations. Everyone is focusing on the fragility of the recovery," said Michael Sprung, president at Sprung & Co. Investment Counsel.
Gold hit the record high shortly after markets opened and allowed the resource-heavy TSX to reverse an early selloff that was blamed on the U.S. jobs report, as well as a weak Canadian jobs report.
Canada lost 43,200 jobs in October, more than even the gloomiest analyst had predicted, dashing hopes for a quick economic rebound.
Both reports sent the TSX down as much as 82 points before gold spearheaded a quick move to higher territory.
The S&P/TSX composite index finished the day up 69.72 points, or 0.62 percent, at 11,250.42, with eight of its 10 main groups higher. The index was up 3.1 percent on the week.
Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway