UPDATE 3-Toronto stocks boosted by soaring crude price

Tue May 6, 2008 4:39pm EDT
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(Updates closing numbers, adds details)

TORONTO May 6 (Reuters) - Oil and gas companies led the way up for the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday, helping the main index climb nearly 1 percent as crude oil prices notched another record high.

Suncor Energy SU.TO was among the biggest gainers, up C$4.62, or 4 percent, at C$121.12 as the price of oil flew up over $122 a barrel due to a weaker U.S. dollar and concerns over supply.

The Toronto market's heavily weighted energy sector jumped 3.3 percent. Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO was up C$4.05, or 4.6 percent, at C$92.00, and Canadian Oil Sands Trust COS_u.TO added C$3.68, or 8.3 percent, to C$48.18.

Crude settled up $1.87 at $121.84 a barrel, easing back from the record $122.73 it reached earlier in the day.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 139.96 points, or 0.98 percent, at 14,414.30 with half of its 10 main sectors higher.

The materials sector, which houses resource shares, rallied 1.2 percent, while the base metals mining subindex gained 2.4 percent, pulled up by oil's momentum. Teck Cominco TCKb.TO rose C$1.48, or 3.2 percent, to C$48.18.

Methanex MX.TO shares jumped C$3.02, or 12.4 percent, to C$27.40 after the Methanol supplier upped its quarterly dividend by 11 percent and said it will buy back up to 10 percent of its common stock.

Fertilizer company Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO was up C$3.03, or 1.5 percent, at C$199.39, and competitor Agrium AGU.TO rose C$2.52, or 3 percent, to C$86.75.

Sun Life Financial SLF.TO dragged on the index after the insurer warned of a challenging year ahead as it reported credit market troubles and a strong Canadian dollar stung its operating earnings. Sun Life finished down C$1.76, or 3.6 percent, at C$47.44, while the financial sector overall gave up 0.5 percent. ($1=$1.00 Canadian) (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Peter Galloway)