March 25, 2008 / 2:40 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-Gold fuels Toronto stock market rise

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TORONTO, March 25 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock market jumped more than 200 points on Tuesday before giving back some of the gains, as commodity issues rode the coattails of a lofty rise in the price of gold.

“We are having a little bit of a rebound in the gold sector and some of the metals, so it’s helping this market turn around in Canada,” said Sal Masionis, a stockbroker at Brant Securities.

Eight of the TSX index’s 10 main groups were higher, led by a 3.5 percent rise in the resource-laden materials group and a 1.3 percent climb in the influential energy group. The gold subsector was up 4 percent.

By midmorning, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 156.96 points, or 1.2 percent, at 13,176.68, adding to a 244-point gain on Monday.

But Masionis was skeptical whether the heady gains could be sustained.

“This is a lot of rallying and it depends on what the metals do and what the U.S. dollar will do,” he said.

Gold shares were the early leaders as the country’s biggest producers enjoyed a firming price for the precious metal at around $932 an ounce.

Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), the world’s biggest producer, added 98 Canadian cents to C$43.75 and Goldcorp (G.TO) rose C$2.26 to C$40.28.

Meanwhile, Potash Corp POT.TO helped fuel the rise of the overall materials group, adding C$4.43 to C$158.34, while base metals giant Teck Cominco TCKb.TO rose C$1.35 to C$40.18.

Energy issues also buoyed the key index, despite the falling price for U.S. crude oil, which fell 1 percent to $99.85 a barrel.

Suncor Energy (SU.TO) gained C$2.08 to C$97.10 and EnCana Corp (ECA.TO) rose C$1.01 to C$74.35.

But a 0.9 percent dip in the lightly weighted healthcare group and a 0.3 percent dip in the consumer discretionary group tempered the gains.

Biovail Corp BVF.TO, the country’s biggest publicly traded drugmaker, was down 14 Canadian cents at C$11.52. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Monday that the company will pay $10 million to settle a probe into fraudulent accounting, but the drugmaker’s founder, Eugene Melnyk, and three other current and former executives still face charges. ($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Scott Anderson; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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