UPDATE 4-Toronto stocks post big gain as oil pumps higher

Thu Jun 5, 2008 5:19pm EDT
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(Adds details, quotes)

*Index ends 2 percent higher after late-day surge

*Resource groups rally along with a jump in oil prices

*MDS falls after profit drops and lowers 2008 outlook

By Leah Schnurr

TORONTO, June 5 (Reuters) - A surge in the price of oil helped the Toronto Stock Exchange's main index vault 2 percent higher on Thursday with energy and other resource issues charging ahead.

The index's heavyweight energy sector surged 4 percent, yanked higher as the price of oil climbed more than $5. Crude finished over $127 a barrel while the U.S. dollar weakened after the European Central Bank suggested it could raise interest rates this year.

Among the biggest gainers, Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO jumped C$6.24, or 6.4 percent, to C$103.64, while Canadian Oil Sands Trust COS_u.TO put on C$2.44, or 5 percent, to C$51.46.

Lex Kerkovius, senior research analyst at McLean & Partners Wealth Management in Calgary, said that a better-than-expected increase in sales at Wal-Mart's WMT.N U.S. stores and an unexpected decrease in U.S. weekly jobless claims also pushed oil up.   Continued...