UPDATE 3-Toronto stocks rally to end week higher

Fri Feb 1, 2008 5:25pm EST
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(Updates official closing numbers. Adds details, quotes)

By Leah Schnurr

TORONTO Feb 1 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index climbed broadly higher on Friday, helped by robust energy and banking shares, solid earnings, and optimism over Microsoft's takeover bid for Yahoo.

The energy and financials sectors led the way, gaining 1.5 percent and 1.6 percent respectively as investors sensed bargains after the market's recent slump.

The banking sector was also boosted as investors continued digest the U.S. interest rate cut earlier in the week and were hopeful of another cut from the Bank of Canada.

Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: Quote) gained C$1.32, or 2.3 percent, to C$58.07, while in the energy sector, Encana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote) was up C$1.33, or 2 percent, at C$67.52.

Oil and gas producers were also boosted by reports of massive profits at Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N: Quote) and Chevron Corp (CVX.N: Quote) on the back of record high oil prices.

"I think we got ourselves to a position that we were so oversold, we were due for a bounce," said Rick Hutcheon, president and chief operating officer at RKH Investments.

"All in all, given what we've gone through in the last two weeks to a month, there's not a sufficient preponderance of negative (news) in the cards today to really prevent the market from carrying forward with its forward momentum."   Continued...