Bay Street stocks gained for a second straight session on Wednesday, following the lead of U.S. and European counterparts. Strength in the mining and gold sectors helped boost the market.

The S&P/Composite Index added 221.43 points or 2.53% to 8,941.82. The index reached a six-day closing low after hitting a 10-day low earlier this week.

Mining stocks surged another 7.2% to lead the way. Ivanhoe Mines (IVN.TO) rallied 9.9% after announcing its fourth quarter net loss narrowed to $160 million, compared to a loss of $253.6 million a year ago.

Gold stocks are up 4.35% and mining stocks added 3.6% as the precious metal added $1.10 to finish at $927.10 on the Comex. New Gold (NGD.TO) and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) rallied 4.9%, Seabridge Gold (SEA.TO) rallied 4% and Goldcorp (G.TO) gained 3.7%.

Technology stocks have gained 2.7%. Research In Motion (RIM.TO) gained 5.9% after company announced the launch of the BlackBerry App World, a new on-device application store for BlackBerry smartphones.

Financial closed up 2.7%. National Bank (NA.TO) surged 4%, CIBC (CM.TO) added 3.9% and Scotiabank (BNS.TO) gained 3.4%.

BMO Financial Group (BMO.TO) added 2.8% after the company said Wednesday it closed the C$329.5 million acquisition of AIG Life Insurance Company of Canada, a unit of troubled insurer AIG.

Meanwhile, Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) executive Gordon Nixon said Canada's biggest banks are sound financially and he doesn't think they will need to use the government's C$218 billion debt backstop program.

In other corporate news, GLG Life Tech (GLG.TO) has dropped 4.6% after the company reported a net loss for its fourth quarter of C$7.12 million or C$0.10 per share, compared to net income of C$456,000 or C$0.01 per share in the previous year. However, revenue for the quarter climbed 25% and GLG Life Tech expects revenues between C$50 million and C$60 million in 2009, with stevia operations expected to account for 100% of revenue growth.

Copper Mesa Mining (CUX.TO) soared 40% after the company it agreed to sell a wholly owned subsidiary to Nortec Ventures (NVT.V:) to buy of Copper Mesa.

AbitibiBowater (ABH.TO) has plunged 18.3% after announcing it is evaluating new restructuring alternatives and is currently in active discussions with lenders and debt holders of its Bowater Incorporated subsidiary to restructure Bowater's debt and implement alternatives for maintaining adequate liquidity levels.

Canada-based media company Kaboose (KAB.TO) has soared 32.6% after the company said it entered into two separate deals to sell substantially all of its assets for C$120 million. Kaboose will sell its UK business to Barclays Private Equity Ltd. for C$97 million and its North American operations to Disney Online for C$23.3 million.

Across the border, the National Association of Realtors said its index of pending home sales rose 2.1 percent to 82.1 in February from a reading of 80.4 in January. The increase by the index came as a surprise to economists, who had expected the reading to come in unchanged compared to the previous month.

Earlier, Automatic Data Processing's monthly report showed that non-farm private employment fell by 742,000 jobs in March following a revised decrease of 706,000 jobs in February. Economists had expected a decrease of 663,000 jobs compared to the decrease of 697,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

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