CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits 7-month high as oil shares surge

Mon Jun 1, 2009 10:29am EDT
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* TSX up 232.88 points at 10,602.95.

* Energy shares lead with 4 percent surge

* All 10 TSX sectors in higher territory (Adds details and comments)

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, June 1 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was up more than 2 percent on Monday morning, reaching its highest level in more than seven months, as a surge in oil prices lit a fire under its energy sector.

Energy shares gained 4 percent as expectations for a global economic recovery helped send oil prices more than 2 percent higher.

Shares of oil company Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO, the biggest contributor to the index's gains, rose 5.9 percent to C$68.54, followed by EnCana Corp ECA.TO, up 4.2 percent at C$62.51.

Another factor behind the index's gain was data released early on Monday that showed Canada's economy shrank less in the first quarter than was expected by analysts. [ID:N01454666]

"It's a good start to the week as we've gotten through the majority of the earnings season with no big surprises," said Peter Chandler, senior vice-president at Canaccord Capital in Waterloo, Ontario.   Continued...