TORONTO, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Toronto stocks were strongly higher on Tuesday morning as record high gold prices and firm oil prices underpinned the resource-heavy market.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 144.63 points, or 1.1 percent, at 13,763.50. This followed a loss of 159 points on Monday.
Eight of the TSX index’s 10 main groups were higher, led by a 1.1 percent boost in the energy group and a 2.3 percent boost in the resource-heavy materials group. The gold-mining subindex, home to some of the world’s top gold miners, was up 4 percent.
Gold prices raced to a record high of $876.40 an ounce earlier in the day, surpassing last week’s peak of $869.05, helped up by a lower U.S. dollar and rising oil prices.
“The commodities are in vogue and we’re seeing a little bit of a bounce from the rest of the market,” said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC Capital Markets.
Among gold companies rising were Barrick Gold ABX.TO, the world’s biggest producer, which gained C$2.10, or 4.4 percent, to a 52-week high of C$49.58, and Goldcorp Inc G.TO, which added C$1.05, or 2.9 percent, to C$38.41.
Goldcorp said on Tuesday it expects production to rise 13.5 percent this year to 2.6 million ounces. But Canada’s No. 2 producer also forecast its total cash costs at about $250 per ounce for 2008, up from a forecast of $150 per ounce for 2007.
The market also benefited from a 2 percent rise in oil prices to $97.03 a barrel due to worries over renewed violence in Nigeria and tightening crude supplies.
Suncor Energy SU.TO added C$1.39 to C$109.74, and EnCana Corp ECA.TO rose 64 Canadian cents to C$69.68.
The consumer discretionary and industrial groups bucked the trend, both retreating 0.4 percent.
Most transportation stocks were lower, including Canadian Pacific Railway CP.TO, which slipped 51 Canadian cents to C$62.63. ($1=$1.00 Canadian) (Reporting by Scott Anderson; Editing by Peter Galloway)