CANADA STOCKS-TSX kicks off year with energy-powered rally

Fri Jan 2, 2009 5:03pm EST
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* Energy sector roars 6.3 percent higher

* Fourth session of triple-digit gains

* Nine of 10 subsectors in positive territory (Adds comments, details, changes to Ottawa from Toronto dateline)

OTTAWA, Jan 2 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index pushed 2.7 percent higher on Friday, as an energy sector rally helped power a fourth straight session of triple-digit gains to usher in the new year.

All but one of the Toronto Stock Exchange's 10 main sectors ended higher, led by the energy group, which surged 6.3 percent.

Big gainers included Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote), up 8.9 percent at C$25.83, Petro-Canada PCA.TO ahead 8.9 percent at C$29.11, and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) gaining 6.7 percent to C$51.99.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE rose 246.41 points to close at 9,234.11 points.

"A lot of people have a lot of cash that they're sitting on. And this being a new year, maybe they were just looking for a place to put their money," said Adrian Mastracci, portfolio manager and president at KCM Wealth Management Inc.

Crude oil jumped $1.74, or 4 percent, to $46.34 a barrel, lifted by fears over European fuel availability amid rising Middle East tensions and a spat between Russia and Ukraine over natural gas supplies. [ID:nSP351690]   Continued...