CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits 7-month high on oil-price surge

Mon Jun 1, 2009 5:05pm EDT
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* TSX ends up 233.99 points at 10,604.06

* Energy shares lead with 4.6 percent rise

* Drop in gold-mining shares limits gain (Adds details)

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, June 1 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose more than 2 percent on Monday, and at one point hit its highest level in more than seven months, as a surge in oil prices lit a fire under its energy sector.

The key Toronto index is now up 41.7 percent since hitting a five-year low in March, with the latest charge fueled by a more than 2 percent gain in oil prices, which rose on expectations of global economic recovery.

Shares of oil company EnCana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote), the biggest driver behind Monday's gain, rallied 4.7 percent to close at C$62.85, while Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) rose 5.3 percent to C$68.16. The energy sector ended up 4.59 percent.

The energy sector's rise easily offset the drag from the materials group, which checked out of the session down 0.42 percent as gold-mining shares fell on lower bullion prices.

A 2.25 percent rise in the financials group, which makes up about 33 percent of the index, also helped power the index's triple-digit gain. Investors bought shares of Canadian banks as most reported stronger-than-expected quarterly results last week.   Continued...