TSX rises as gold-mining shares gain on safe-haven bets

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014. Canada's main stock index was little changed on Monday as weakness in financial and energy shares offset gains in the materials sector. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index advanced on Monday, helped by strength in gold-mining shares amid heightened demand for safe-haven assets like precious metals.

On global markets, U.S. President Donald Trump’s failure to win enough congressional support for healthcare legislation reform was bearish for stocks but bullish for government bonds, whose yields fell.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 63.55 points, or 0.41 percent, at 15,506.22. Eight of the index's 10 main groups were higher.

The TSX had ended last week with two straight days of gains after Canada's government held off from raising taxes on investors in its budget, and the United States approved TransCanada Corp's TRP.TO Keystone XL pipeline.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, rose 1.4 percent, with Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO climbing 1.9 percent to C$26.20.

Spot gold XAU= was up 0.9 percent at $1,254.76 an ounce, having touched a one-month high earlier in the session. [GOL/][MET/L]

The financials group added 0.1 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO gained 0.8 percent to C$78.36, but Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO declined 0.1 percent to C$65.13.

The energy group fell 0.1 percent as oil prices declined on uncertainty over whether an OPEC-led production cut will be extended beyond June in an effort to counter a glut of crude.

U.S. crude CLc1 prices were down 0.4 percent at $47.79 a barrel, while Suncor Energy Inc SU.TO fell 0.9 percent to C$40.47.

Reporting by Fergal Smith and John Tilak; Editing by W Simon and James Dalgleish