December 4, 2015 / 12:46 PM / 2 years ago

TSX closes higher, rally in gold stocks offsets weaker energy

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index closed higher on Friday, helped by a rally in gold stocks and firming in financials, while weakness in crude oil prices weighed on the energy sector.

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

The rally in gold miners was “the big feature,” according to John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada, adding that they “were very oversold.”

Gold futures GCc1 rallied more than $22, while U.S. crude oil prices settled below $40 a barrel after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries failed to agree on a new production quota.

Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO advanced 7.1 percent to C$10.81, while Goldcorp Inc G.TO was up 5.8 percent at C$17.03.

The overall materials sector, which includes miners, fertilizer companies and lumber producers, rose more than 3 percent.

Financials rose 0.5 percent, including a 0.9 percent gain for Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO to C$54.77.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 34.1 points, or 0.26 percent, at 13,358.77, but little changed for the week.

Seven of the index’s 10 main groups were in positive territory.

Energy stocks fell 2.2 percent, including a 2.0 percent drop in Suncor Energy Inc SU.TO to C$36.03.

U.S. crude CLc1 prices settled at $39.97 a barrel, down 2.7 percent, while Brent crude LCOc1 lost 1.5 percent to $43.19.

Canadian Pacific Railway CP.TO fell 4.1 percent to C$180.15 after Norfolk Southern Corp rejected its $28.4 billion acquisition proposal.

U.S. jobs data suggested that the economy is strong enough to sustain a Federal Reserve rate hike this month, overshadowing disappointing Canadian jobs and trade data.

Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Frances Kerry and Lisa Shumaker

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