UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks up as lower oil soothes growth worries

Mon Jun 9, 2008 11:01am EDT
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*Decline in oil offers reprieve to markets

*Resource shares lead rise on TSX

*Housing starts up more than expected

By Jonathan Spicer

TORONTO, June 9 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index rose on Monday morning as resource shares charged higher, and a decline in oil prices helped ease worries over the impact of costly energy on economic growth.

The number of housing starts rose more than expected last month, underpinning optimism on the resilience of the Canadian economy amid a global credit crisis. For details, see: [nN09456243]

The price of U.S. light crude oil -- which has rattled world markets with its recent jump -- eased more than 2 percent, giving a boost to North American markets and driving the resource-heavy TSX toward the record high it touched midway through the previous session.

"In a weak commodity market, you don't expect to see the Canadian equity market as strong as it is," said Paul Taylor, chief investment officer at BMO Harris Investment Management.   Continued...