TSX buoyed by rally in gold and oil

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s benchmark stock index rose on Tuesday as a surge in oil and gold prices sent energy and mining companies rallying.

Bay Street signs are seen in the heart of the financial district in Toronto, August 17, 2009. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE rose 54.78 points, or 0.36 percent, to finish at 15,464.56.

Of the index’s 10 main groups, four advanced, including a 3.4 percent jump in materials, which include gold miners, and a 1.4 percent lift in oil and gas companies.

Gold leaped to a seven-month high on safe-haven demand ahead of a slew of key events on Thursday and after the U.S. dollar fell to a seven-month low. Gold futures GCc1 rose 1.1 percent to $1,293.8 an ounce. [GOL/][FRX/]

Gold firms dominated the index on the positive side, with Barrick Gold ABX.TO climbing 4.9 percent to C$22.86, and Goldcorp Inc G.TO rising 4.5 percent to C$18.89. Kinross Gold Corp K.TO rallied 8.6 percent to C$6.21.

Iamgold Corp IMG.TO soared 11.7 percent to C$6.78 after Japan's Sumitomo Metal Mining Co 5713.T said it agreed to take an interest in a gold mining project from the company for $195 million.

Energy stocks, which have bounced alongside seesawing crude prices, rose as the commodity found technical support after sliding below $47 a barrel. Prices have stumbled amid uncertainty over the impact of an Arab rift over Qatar.[O/R]

“A lot of these names on a year-to-date basis, have been pretty beaten up,” said Manash Goswami, portfolio manager with First Asset Investment Management Inc. “If you’re looking for value, you definitely want to look at sectors that have lagged - energy has been one of those.”

Goswami said the market was otherwise taking a pause, with overall investor sentiment cautious ahead of a busy Thursday which will see Britain heading to voting booths and former FBI director James Comey testifying before the U.S. Congress. The European Central Bank is also meeting the same day. [MKTS/GLOB]

Tempering gains was a 0.6 percent retreat in financial services companies. The group includes Canada's biggest banks and insurers and accounts for about a third of the index's weight. Manulife Financial Corp MFC.TO declined 1.5 percent to C$23.15, while Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO gave up 0.8 percent to finish at C$92.81.

Hudson's Bay Co HBC.TO, which reports quarterly results on Thursday, fell 3.5 percent to C$9.73, tracking U.S. department store stocks which slumped after Macy's Inc M.N warned of a bigger-than-expected drop in gross margins.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the TSX by 141 to 101, for a 1.40-to-1 ratio on the upside.

Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Tom Brown