December 31, 2009 / 3:59 PM / in 8 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX broadly higher, eyes best year since 1983

 * TSX up 0.29 percent at 11,751.85
 * Nine of index’s 10 sectors gain
 * Index may be on track for best year since 1983  (Adds details)
 TORONTO, Dec 31 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was higher on Thursday morning -- and looked on track to record its best year since 1983 -- following along as global markets, gold and oil were all up on the final trading day of 2009.
 At 10:25 a.m. (1525 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 34.39 points, or 0.29 percent, at 11,751.85. Nine of the TSX’s 10 main groups were higher, including the three biggest sectors of the index -- energy, materials and financials -- which make up three-quarters of its weighting.
 Energy shares were among the biggest heavyweight movers, lifted by an oil price that was steady above $79 a barrel. EnCana (ECA.TO) gained 0.44 percent to C$34.41, while Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) rose 0.2 percent to C$76.15.
 Gold miners, part of the materials group, advanced as the price of gold topped $1,100 an ounce. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) was up 0.19 percent at C$41.78, and Goldcorp (G.TO) rose 0.3 percent to C$41.22.
 “Commodities are definitely acting well. Gold, natural gas, oil, copper, pretty much every commodity I‘m looking at is showing green,” said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier. “The Canadian market looks quite strong, and it tells me investors still want to invest in Canadian assets and Canadian dollars.”
 The Canadian dollar was firmer against the U.S. currency on Thursday morning after a brief knee-jerk move lower after data showed weekly U.S. jobless claims hit a 17-month low. [CAD/]
 Financial shares were also on the rise, up for a fourth straight session, fueled by the optimistic U.S. economic data. [ID:nOAT004412]
 Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) was up 0.75 percent at C$65.89, while Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) advanced 0.36 percent to C$56.34.
 Entering the session, Canada’s main stock index was up 30.4 percent, which could put it on track for its best year since 1983, when the composite index recorded a 30.35 percent annual gain.
 “As long as interest rates remain low, I think economies around the world will continue to do better,” Nakamoto said. “The stock market should continue to do well, not as well as 2009, but certainly better than what you could get in fixed-income instruments.”
 Canadian markets will be closed on Friday, Jan. 1.
 ($1=$1.05 Canadian)  (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)                                      

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