CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits seven-week high as gold miners rally

(Adds details, comments from strategist; updates prices)
    * TSX up 90.47 points, or 0.61 percent, at 14,972.97
    * Eight of 10 main index sectors advance
    * Index up about 10 percent from October low

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
touched its highest level in seven weeks on Tuesday, driven by a
jump in shares of gold miners and a broad rally in most other
major sectors, as well as news that Japan will delay a sales tax
    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who announced a snap
election so he could seek a fresh mandate, said the planned rise
in the sales tax to 10 percent would be delayed until April
    The Canadian stock market tends to react sharply to global
economic news since its index is heavily weighted with cyclical
natural resource companies.
    The gold-mining sector rose 5.2 percent, reflecting strength
in the price of bullion. It has rallied in the last three
sessions, recovering somewhat from a brutal selloff over the
past month. 
    The Toronto stock market's benchmark TSX rose for a third
session and is up nearly 10 percent from an eight-month low in
October. The market has managed to shrug off a pullback in the
energy sector, advancing in each of the last five weeks.
    "It's amazing how the TSX is approaching 15,000 once again,
despite the continued decline in crude oil," said Elvis Picardo,
strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities
in Vancouver.
    "The TSX is being pulled along by the strong performances in
the other groups in the index," he added.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 90.47 points, or 0.61 percent, at 14,972.97.
Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Among gold miners, Barrick Gold Corp jumped 6.9
percent to C$15.04, and Goldcorp Inc added 3.9 percent to
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector,
advanced, with Bank of Nova Scotia climbing 0.6 percent
to C$69.17.
    Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc gained
3.9 percent to C$160.42, helping drive up the healthcare sector.
    ($1=$1.13 Canadian)

 (Editing by Peter Galloway and Diane Craft)