CANADA STOCKS-TSX follows energy sector to fourth straight gain

Tue Sep 8, 2009 4:23pm EDT
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 * TSX up 87.83 points, or 0.8 pct, to 11,105.30
 * Touches highest level since October 2008
 * Energy sector ends 2.45 percent higher
 (Adds details, comments, official numbers)
 By Frank Pingue
 TORONTO, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
raced to its loftiest level in nearly a year on Tuesday as a
surge in commodity prices helped lift the resource-heavy index
to its fourth straight higher close.
 The latest rally was driven by the weighty energy sector,
which rose 2.45 percent alongside a move in oil prices to back
above $70 a barrel. [O/R]
 Shares of Suncor Energy SU.TO, the biggest driver behind
the overall rally, rose 3 percent to C$35.04, while Canadian
Natural Resources CNQ.TO closed up 3.45 percent at C$65.70
 The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended the session up
87.83 points, or 0.8 percent, at 11,105.30. However, that was
well off the session high reached moments after the open, when
the TSX shot ahead 1.4 percent to its highest level since
October 2008.
 And while it backed off by the close, it still ended the
session a whopping 48 percent above the five-year low it
tumbled to in March.
 Analysts did not put much weight on the market's latest
rally, which came after the Labor Day holiday weekend at a time
when liquidity remains light and moves can often be volatile.
 "Up to now, the markets have been very thin and generally
it takes a couple weeks after Labor Day for a lot of committees
to meet and decide on a definite plan of action," said Irwin
Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds.
 "The fact is that you're talking three weeks from tomorrow
you've got not only the end of the month but end of the
quarter, and a little bit of performance anxiety here for a
number of people who might be underweighted in equities."
 ($1=$1.08 Canadian)
 (Editing by Rob Wilson)