UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks make gain in choppy action

Mon Jun 2, 2008 11:08am EDT
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(Updates to mid morning)

*Key index slightly higher after choppy start to session

*Energy sector rebounds to provide support

TORONTO, June 2 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index pushed slightly higher in choppy action on Monday morning as support from resources offset weakness in the financial group.

The heavyweight oil and gas sector rebounded from earlier losses to gain 0.8 percent as oil prices regained the $2 a barrel they had lost in earlier trading. Suncor Energy SU.TO was up 30 Canadian cents, or 0.4 percent, at C$68.06, and Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO rose 66 Canadian cents, or 0.7 percent, to C$97.90.

The materials sector climbed 1.1 percent with help from gold producers amid a small gain in the price of bullion. Barrick Gold ABX.TO rose 41 Canadian cents, or 1 percent, to C$40.44.

"I think folks are of the view that probably some of these commodities prices are at a point where they could turn and move a bit higher," said Paul Taylor, chief investment officer at BMO Harris Investment Management Inc.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 31.37 points, or 0.21 percent, at 14,746.10 after see-sawing on both sides of the break-even line.

The rest of the benchmark's 10 main sectors were lower. The large financial sector fell 0.3 percent with Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO losing C$1.04, or 1.5 percent, to C$70.85, and Bank of Montreal BMO.TO dropping 69 Canadian cents, or 1.4 percent, to C$48.08.

Centerra Gold CG.TO gave up 21 Canadian cents, or 2.4 percent, to C$8.64 after it said its framework agreements with the Kyrgyz government for its Kumtor gold mine had not been ratified by the country's parliament by the agreed deadline. The miner said it will resume international arbitration.

Shares of yoga wear retailer Lululemon Athletica LLL.TO were up 55 Canadian cents, or 1.7 percent, at C$32.63 ahead its quarterly results, which are expected after the closing bell. ($1=$1.00 Canadian) (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Peter Galloway)