January 6, 2010 / 4:09 PM / 9 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits 15-month high, boosted by gold miners

* Key index hits 11,945.14, highest level since Sept 2008.

* Ivanhoe jumps 3.6 pct after it says to look at options

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index climbed on Wednesday, boosted by strength in its weighty materials sector as a stronger bullion price lifted shares of gold miners.

Miners Goldcorp Inc (G.TO), up 2.25 percent at C$43.70, and Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO), up 1.95 percent at C$43.32, played the biggest role in leading the index higher.

Gold prices rose to near three-week highs as fresh new year investment flows boosted commodities. [GOL/]

At 10:15 a.m. (1515 GMT) the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 57.06 points, or 0.48 percent at 11,945.14. The index at one point hit 11,948.97, its highest level since September 2008.

“We continue to see a broad-based rally in base metals and precious metals that has a two-fold emphasis,” said Peter Chandler, senior vice president at Canaccord Wealth Management.

“One, growth coming from the Pacific Rim, China and India, and demand for base metals. And in the case of precious metals, a response to merger and acquisition activity and the benefit that it typically gets from a weak U.S. dollar.”

Ivanhoe Mines Ltd (IVN.TO) shares rose 3.6 percent to C$17.32 after the owner of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold project in southern Mongolia said it may sell shares or debt, sell off a subsidiary or look at other options as it develops the mine. [ID:nN06209449]

Chandler said optimism about the prospects for energy prices also helped lift the market. Energy shares rose about 0.11 percent. Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO), up 0.26 percent at C$38.83, had the biggest positive influence on the index of any energy producer.

“We’ve got oil trading at a multi-month high above $80. It looks like it wants to probably test above $85 and that’s based upon a belief that there’s some health in the economy...and the cold weather that has gripped the east and the belief that there will be a drawdown in energy inventories.”

$1=$1.03 Canadian

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