(Adds portfolio manager comment, updates prices to close)
* TSX ends up 69.83 points, or 0.45 percent, at 15,586.58
* Index is less than 100 points from record high
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, Jan 5 Canada's main stock index
extended its new year rally into a third day on Thursday, as
gold miners and other materials stocks rose with higher
commodity prices and telecom stocks also notched gains.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
ended the day up 69.83 points, or 0.45 percent, at
15,586.58, within striking distance of its all-time high of
15,685.13, which was hit in September 2014.
"I think the markets can grind higher from here," said
Manash Goswami, portfolio manager at First Asset Investment
Management. "I'm a little more constructive than I had been last
year," he added.
The most influential movers on the index included two of the
world's largest gold producers, with Barrick Gold Corp
jumping 5.6 percent to C$23.02 and Goldcorp Inc up 4.1
percent to C$19.78.
Torex Gold Resources surged 21.4 percent to C$26.75
after announcing high-grade results from exploration drilling
close to existing operations and Alamos Gold Inc jumped
14.4 percent to C$11.37 after saying its Kirazli project in
Turkey gained government permits, allowing development to begin.
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals
miners and fertilizer companies, added 3.8 percent.
A slew of smaller gold miners also gained as gold prices
jumped to a one-month high, but Goswami said further gains may
be limited by a likely extension of U.S. dollar strength.
"We're not super bullish on gold equities at the moment just
given that we see further rate hikes from the Fed and continuous
strength in the U.S. dollar so we expect gold to lag," he said.
Telecom stocks rose 0.8 percent overall, with Telus Corp
up 1.6 percent at C$44.20 and Rogers Communications Inc
adding 0.9 percent to C$52.67.
The energy group retreated 0.6 percent even as oil prices
rose after Saudi Arabia started talks with customers about a
reduction in crude sales to support a plan by OPEC to lower
Penn West Petroleum Ltd advanced 3.7 percent to
C$2.53 after it raised its 2017 capital budget and upped its
The value of Canadian equity issues rose to an all-time high
in 2016, driven by large deals in the energy and mining sectors,
according to Thomson Reuters data released on Thursday.
Canadian producer prices increased by 0.3 percent in
November from October on higher costs for vehicles and primary
non-ferrous metal products, Statistics Canada said.
(Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and