April 30, 2010 / 8:51 PM / 9 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends slightly higher on gold rally

* TSX ends up 0.09 percent at 12,210.70

* Canada gold stocks soar, up 7 pct this week

* Greece, Goldman Sachs eyed for weekend developments (Updates to close)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, April 30 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index ended slightly higher on Friday as strong gold stocks helped it hold gains in the face of profit-taking in most other sectors.

Gold stocks have been key supports of the index this week, handily outperforming the rest of the market with a 7 percent rise. The price of gold hit a 2010 high above $1,180 an ounce on Friday in a flight to safety bid spurred by concern over whether a rescue plan for Greece will emerge and news that Goldman Sachs faces a criminal investigation. [GOL/]

Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) jumped 2.95 percent to C$44.30, while Iamgold (IMG.TO) gained 4.12 percent to C$18.18. Kinross Gold (K.TO) added 2.37 percent to C$19.40. The index’s materials group, home to gold producers, was up 1.38 percent.

Executives at gold miners say the momentum will continue due to strong profit outlooks and signs the metal could be set to top last year’s record highs. [ID:nN30206235]

“There’s appetite once again for Canadian gold stocks. We’ve seen gold do quite well recently,” said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 10.38 points, or 0.09 percent, at 12,210.70. Four sectors advanced, including the key materials group, and six declined.

The index dipped into negative territory briefly as the session wound down, after trading as high as 12,308.13 earlier in the day. Investors steadily took profits late in the session ahead of the weekend with a Greece rescue deal looming and the news of a criminal probe into Goldman Sachs weighing on sentiment. [ID:nLDE63T0IC] [ID:nN30239321]

“Right now the market seems to be betting on a bailout package in terms of Greece, but anything could happen over the weekend,” Picardo said.

“So there would be a natural tendency for investors and traders to take some money off the table ahead of an uncertain weekend.”

$1=$1.00 Canadian Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway

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