UPDATE 2-Energy issues lead Toronto stocks higher

Wed Dec 5, 2007 11:45am EST
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(Adds details, analyst comment)

By Jonathan Spicer

TORONTO Dec 5 (Reuters) - The resource-heavy main index of the Toronto Stock Exchange rose early and remained buoyant on Wednesday, lifted primarily by bullish energy shares after OPEC decided to leave crude output levels unchanged.

The move by the cartel of oil-producing countries drove U.S. crude oil futures as high as $90.39 a barrel, which gave the TSX energy sector a 1.7 percent boost.

Crude slipped back to around $89 a barrel, however, after a mid-morning report showed a much larger than expected build in U.S. gasoline stockpiles last week.

All 10 of the Toronto index's main sectors were higher, with industrials up 2.4 percent, materials ahead 1 percent and the information technology sector 1.9 percent higher.

Overall, the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 159.48 points, or 1.2 percent, at 13,739.10.

The index had fallen 0.8 percent over the past two days, hampered by worries over the economic health of the United States, Canada's biggest trading partner.

Those worries were tempered on Wednesday with the release of one U.S. report that showed higher than expected employment growth in the private sector last month, and another that showed U.S. worker productivity logged the strongest growth in four years. For details, see: [nN05598168] and [nN05602438]   Continued...