* TSX rises 0.91 percent to close at 11,349.88
* Gold miners rally for second day with prices at new high
* Energy shares fall with price of oil (Adds details)
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index put together a late rally to book a third-straight day of triple-digit gains on Wednesday as gold prices rose to a record high and lifted shares of gold producers such as Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) and Goldcorp (G.TO).
Gold mining shares built on strong gains from the previous session and Barrick shares were among the key drivers of the index’s gain. Barrick was up 1.3 percent at C$41.77, while Goldcorp rose 1.1 percent to C$44.71.
The rally was supported by another record-setting day for the price of gold, which neared $1,050 per ounce, as mounting worries about inflation pulled more investors toward the precious metal. [GOL/]
The index was up only modestly for most of the day, held up by gold miners and other stocks in the materials group, until the last hour, when almost all the index’s components turned higher.
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 101.91 points, or 0.91 percent, at 11,349.88.
Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada in Montreal, said it was quiet ahead of Alcoa results, which kick off U.S. earnings season, as market players held positions after two strong sessions.
After market close, aluminum producer Alcoa posted a surprise profit after three quarterly losses, mainly because of cost savings and an increase in aluminum prices [ID:nN07320124].
Notable risers included Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO), which ended as the top two heavyweight gainers after being the top two losers on Tuesday. Royal was up 1.2 percent at C$56.31, while TD gained 1.53 percent to C$65.80.
Just as the session wound down to its final minutes, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced he has written to Canada’s big banks asking them to stop selling insurance on their websites, the latest volley in a long-running battle between big insurance and banks.
It was not yet clear whether Flaherty wants the banks to stop insurance sales on any website, or merely on their main bank websites. [ID:nN07468589]
Most energy shares were under pressure, including EnCana (ECA.TO), as the price of oil slipped more than 1 percent to below $70 a barrel. Encana topped all heavyweight decliners, falling 0.7 percent to C$60.97.
Suncor Energy (SU.TO) bucked the trend, gaining 2.6 percent. Its chief executive, Rick George, said on Wednesday that annual savings from Suncor’s acquisition of Petro-Canada will exceed the company’s target. He also said the acquisition could also help the company restart projects deferred last year at a quicker pace than would otherwise be possible. [ID:nN07480483]
Among notable active issues, Labopharm Inc DDS.TO soared around 40 percent after the small Canadian drugmaker said all U.S. FDA concerns about the manufacturing process for its once-daily depression treatment, Trazodone, had been resolved, clearing the way for U.S. approval early next year. Labopharm finished at C$2.02, up 39.31 percent. (Editing by Peter Galloway)