UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks surge on robust resources

Thu May 8, 2008 10:54am EDT
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(Updates to midmorning)

TORONTO May 8 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index powered higher on Thursday, boosted by gains in the resource sector after oil prices rose and gold prices firmed.

Gold miner Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO: Quote) rose C$2.76, or 4.4 percent, to C$65.51, and Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) was up C$1.76, or 4.7 percent, at C$39.46, while the subindex of gold producers put on 3.2 percent.

The gains helped push the resource-laden materials sector up 0.9 percent.

Oil and gas producers climbed after the price of oil hit a new high near $124 a barrel before easing back off. The sector added 1.7 percent, while Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) was up C$3.07, or 2.5 percent, at C$124.07 and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) advanced C$2.10, or 2.3 percent, to C$93.91.

"The energy stocks are helping us out yet again," said Rick Hutcheon, president and chief operating officer at RKH Investments. "It seems to be we're back in the commodities story."

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 86.12 points, or 0.6 percent, at 14,457.65 in the morning with all but one of its 10 main sectors higher.

Shares of Alimentation Couche-Tard ATDb.TO added 67 Canadian cents, or 4.5 percent, to C$15.48, after the company said it had partnered with Irving Oil to take over the operation of 252 stores in Atlantic Canada and New England.

Air Canada ACa.TO slipped 15 Canadian cents, or 1.9 percent, to C$7.90 after Canada's biggest airline reported a wider first-quarter loss.   Continued...