* TSX up 52.71 points, or 0.44 percent, at 12,000.61
* Bullion hits record above $1,230 an ounce
* Gold producers up steeply as price soars (Updates with official closing numbers, quotes)
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, May 11 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index pushed up to its highest level in a week on Tuesday as gold miners got boost from record bullion prices, which soared on a flight to safety on fears over euro zone debt contagion.
Gold prices spiked to above $1,230 an ounce, as economic uncertainties over European sovereign debt levels and the $1 trillion rescue package prompted investors to seek safety in the precious metal. [MKTS/GLOB] [GOL/]
The TSX materials group was up 2.2 percent as major gold producers pushed sharply higher. Goldcorp (G.TO) jumped 5.9 percent to C$47.21, while Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) gained 4.3 percent to C$46.87. Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) rose 6.5 percent to C$11.68, and Kinross Gold (K.TO) added 7.3 percent to C$19.16.
“The standout performers are gold stocks. Gold seems to be following the playbook in terms of its increasingly being perceived as a safe haven from all this turmoil that is out there,” said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished up 52.71 points, or 0.44 percent, at 12,000.61, with seven of its 10 main groups higher. Earlier, it rose as high as 12,093.51, its highest level since May 4.
The move higher adds to the 2 percent gains notched on Monday.
“We’ve seen a great deal of volatility over the past five or six days. The encouraging thing with the TSX is that it’s staying above the 12,000 level. It’s hanging on to its robust gains from yesterday,” said Picardo.
Energy shares sank 0.6 percent as U.S. crude settled lower, in volatile action, at $76.37 a barrel, as traders remained cautious about the European rescue package and the outlook for the global economic recovery. [O/R]
$1=$1.02 Canadian Additional reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson