* Energy issues follow price of crude higher, lead index
* TD, National Bank announce preferred share issues
* Gold miners drag on materials group
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index ended higher for a fifth straight day on Monday, supported by rising energy shares, which climbed along with oil prices, and by a rally in financials.
The oil and gas sector climbed 3.3 percent as the price of crude rose above $48 a barrel, helped up by worries over the effects of Israel’s attacks on Gaza and by Russia’s dispute with Ukraine over natural gas prices.
“Commodities in general are doing a little bit better, not just the energy, even some of the base metals are showing some signs of life, and the agriculturals are picking up a little bit,” said Levente Mady, broker at MF Global Canada, in Vancouver.
“The main thing on the energy side there is the Israeli conflict and Russia cutting off supplies.”
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished up 51.40 points, or 0.56 percent, at 9,285.51.
The index started the session lower as gold prices weighed, but ground higher, up more than 1 percent at midafternoon on climbing energy and financials, before slowly paring the gains late in the session.
Half of the index’s 10 main groups were higher on Monday.
The financial group was up 1.7 percent, led by Manulife Financial (MFC.TO), the biggest mover on the overall index. The insurer rose 8.4 percent to C$22.74. It was joined by gains in Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO), which both announced preferred share offerings. [ID:nN05350432]
The falling price of gold dragged the materials group down 3.6 percent but rises in some base metal-mining stocks helped cushion the blow from retreating gold-mining issues.
$1=$1.19 Canadian Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway