UPDATE 3-Toronto stocks get lift from rallying resources

Wed Apr 2, 2008 5:30pm EDT
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By Leah Schnurr

TORONTO, April 2 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index climbed for a third successive day on Wednesday, fueled by resource shares that benefited from a sharp rally in commodity prices.

But the benchmark eased from the day's highs, as financial shares retreated on profit-taking following two days of strong gains.

A surge in oil and gold prices, key underlying commodities for the resource-heavy TSX, helped push mining and energy companies higher. Suncor Energy SU.TO gained C$2.27, or 2.3 percent, to C$100.80, while Goldcorp G.TO rose C$2.09, or 5.5 percent, to C$40.39.

The energy and materials sectors rose 1.4 percent and 2.5 percent respectively. Oil bolted almost $4 higher to $104.83 a barrel, while gold rose as high as $898.60 an ounce.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 73.42 points, or 0.55 percent, at 13,514.14 with seven of its 10 main sectors on the upside. Earlier in the day, it had climbed as high as 13,598.26.

The heavyweight financial sector gave up early gains and ended down 0.8 percent. National Bank of Canada NA.TO was off C$1.24, or 2.5 percent, at C$48.35, while Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce CM.TO slipped C$1.50, or 2.2 percent, to C$67.40.

The sector, which has been stung by continuing fallout from the credit squeeze, gained nearly 6 percent over the previous two sessions as investors hoped the problems battering financial markets were easing.   Continued...