UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks little changed as jitters persist

Fri Aug 1, 2008 11:14am EDT
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*Energy stocks higher amid oil price rise

*U.S. jobs data better-than-expected

*Tech major Nortel slumps after quarterly report

TORONTO, Aug 1 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index was little changed on Friday morning as persistent jitters over the global economic outlook undercut a rise in energy shares and rosier than expected U.S. jobs data.

Oil and gas shares were up 1.6 percent as the price of oil reversed course and rose to about $127 a barrel. EnCana (ECA.TO: Quote) was up C$1.48, or 2 percent, at C$75.38.

The number of U.S. jobs eliminated in July was lower than expected, which helped spark an early rally in Toronto, but unemployment rose to its highest level in more than four years.

"It's a little sigh of relief," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds of the data.

"If people are expecting the worst and the news is less bad that little, itty-bitty of positive can spark a bit of a rally."

The U.S. jobs data came one day after a report that showed soft U.S. growth, which revived concerns of a recession.   Continued...