April 23, 2009 / 8:41 PM / in 9 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX rally fueled by rising commodity prices

* TSX index up 130.35 points, or 1.4 percent, at 9,409.50

* Gold and energy shares lead rally

* Bullion rises above $900/oz, oil nears $50/barrel (Adds details)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, April 23 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index finished more than 1 percent higher on Thursday in a broad advance led by the energy and materials sectors, which were supported by rising commodity prices.

The price of gold rose above $900 on fund buying and a weak U.S. dollar, putting some shine on Canada’s gold-mining stocks, including Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), which rose 2.68 percent to C$35.99. [ID:nLN83239]

Overall, the materials group, which is home to gold and other miners, rose 1.4 percent.

Energy shares gained 2.14 percent on strength in the price of crude oil, which neared $50 a barrel, while Suncor Energy’s (SU.TO) better than expected quarterly results also helped power the rally. [ID:nLN617354]

Shares of Suncor rose 3.46 percent to C$30.49, while shares of Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), another key energy player and the top mover higher, were up 3.91 percent at C$58.80.

“Basically gold led the way. Energy was No. 2,” said Sal Masionis, a stockbroker at Brant Securities.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 130.35 points, or 1.4 percent, at 9,409.50. Eight of the index’s 10 main groups were higher.

The TSX has rallied about 26 percent since early March on improved sentiment about the state of the global banking system and signs of economic recovery. The index has recorded a weekly gain in each of the past six weeks, but the extent of the rise has made some investors cautious.

“It’s getting a little, shall we say, probably a little bit stretched,” said Masionis. He said a pullback is probably due but that the TSX is not likely to return to its March lows.

$1=$1.22 Canadian Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway

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