January 3, 2008 / 9:58 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 3-Toronto stocks pulled higher by commodities

(Updates with official closing numbers, adds details)

TORONTO, Jan 3 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index closed higher on Thursday, lifted by strong resource issues ,after gold and oil prices touched record highs for a second day in a row.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 51.44 points, or 0.37 percent, at 13,978.20, but seven of the TSX’s 10 main groups finished lower.

The index climbed more than 100 points to push above the 14,000 mark for the first time in three weeks, before easing, hampered in part by worries over inflation.

Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) rose C$2.78, or 6.1 percent, to C$48.43, while the gold subsector soared 3.7 percent as the price of bullion surged as high as $869.05 an ounce before easing to $862.90.

The materials sector, home to resource shares, was up 2.1 percent.

Oil briefly broke the $100 a barrel level it reached on Wednesday, before retreating 44 cents to settle at $99.18, but the heavyweight Toronto energy sector still finished up 1.5 percent.

Suncor Energy (SU.TO) was up C$2.23, or 2 percent, at C$111.84, and Petro-Canada PCA.TO added 56 Canadian cents, or 1 percent, to C$55.35.

Financial shares led the way down, losing 0.7 percent, as Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) slipped 45 Canadian cents, or 0.9 percent, to C$49.75, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) gave up 38 Canadian cents, or 0.6 percent, to C$67.74.

Kingsway Financial Services Inc KFS.TO bucked the trend, rising 53 Canadian cents, or 4.5 percent, to C$12.44 after it allayed concerns that it would need to raise funds to help a struggling U.S. unit.

The health care sector was down 1.3 percent and the telecoms sector was off 1 percent.

$1=$0.99 Canadian Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Rob Wilson

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