December 28, 2007 / 9:34 PM / in 10 years

UPDATE 3-Toronto stocks surge as resources lead charge

(Adds details, comment, official closing numbers)

By Wojtek Dabrowski

TORONTO, Dec 28 (Reuters) - The main index of the Toronto Stock Exchange rallied almost 150 points on Friday, as resource shares piggybacked on stronger gold prices to lead a broad-based rally.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE rose 145.77 points, or 1.07 percent, to close at 13,821.34 in the second-last session of 2007.

Of the TSX’s 10 main subgroups, nine rose. The gainers included energy and the resource-laden materials sector, which added 1.28 percent and 2.2 percent respectively.

“We’ve got strong gold prices, which is certainly helping us here,” said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod.

U.S. gold futures for February settled $10.90 higher at $842.70 an ounce, building on a weak U.S. dollar and geopolitical uncertainty after the assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

Gold is seen as a safe-haven investment and the price often rises during times of unrest.

Ketchen also said global security concerns will likely carry over into January.

“I think that, as we enter into 2008, there’s going to be a significant amount of caution,” he said, also citing further fallout from the “mess” in U.S. credit markets.

Meantime, investors shouldn’t put too much weight on a one-day index chart because volumes tend to drop off in the holiday period, said Julie Brough, vice-president at Morgan Meighen & Associates.

“This period between Christmas and New Year’s means nothing in the end because nobody’s working,” she said.

Financials, which with energy and materials make up the three main pillars of the Toronto market, also rose 0.86 percent.

$1=$0.98 Canadian Reporting by Wojtek Dabrowski; Editing by Rob Wilson

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