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, 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...