December 28, 2007 / 4:43 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 2-Toronto stocks power higher on strong resources

(Updates stock movement, adds details, quotes)

TORONTO, Dec 28 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index rallied on Friday, boosted by resource issues that benefited from firm gold and oil prices.

Materials and energy shares led the advance, gaining 1.6 percent and 1.1 percent respectively, and pulled nearly all of the TSX’s 10 main sectors up alongside.

Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) added C$1.29, or 3.3 percent, to C$40.87, while the price of gold hit a one-month high on a weak U.S. dollar and worries over the political situations in Pakistan and northern Iraq.

Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO was up C$1.44, or 1 percent, at C$144.43, extending Thursday’s advance after the fertilizer company was upgraded by Goldman Sachs.

Energy issues climbed as the price of oil got a boost from political tensions as well as a drop in U.S. fuel inventories.

Suncor Energy (SU.TO) gained C$2.09, or 2 percent, to C$108.33.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 106.69 points, or 0.78 percent, at 13,782.26 by late morning, with eight of the 10 main groups in the positive territory.

Sal Masionis, a stockbroker at Brant Securities, said that the end of tax-loss season, where investors sell underperforming stocks to claim the losses against income taxes, was also putting some bounce in the market.

“People are looking ahead and being a little more optimistic,” said Masionis.

In the second-last day of trading for 2007, the index is likely to end the year on a high note and is already up about 6 percent for the year.

Analysts expect to see more of the wide swings in both directions in 2008 that have become a hallmark of the TSX recently.

“Going into the new year, the volatility we’ve seen, which is just reactive to day to day changes, whether they’re in commodity prices or interest rates, will continue to drive what we’ve seen as severe volatility, mainly perpetrated by momentum players at the edges of the market,” said Michael Sprung, president of Sprung & Co Investment Counsel.

$1=$0.98 Canadian Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Rob Wilson

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