Toronto stocks pushed higher by oils, miners

Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:21pm EDT
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By Leah Schnurr

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index closed 1 percent higher on Thursday, propped up by the large resource sectors, but worries over more impact from the credit crunch kept the broader market below the water line.

Oil and gas stocks were up 3.2 percent due to a $6 jump in oil prices amid threats to production in Nigeria and Brazil, and tensions between the West and Iran.

But worries over continuing credit crunch fallout added a negative tone to the market, and knocked 0.8 percent off the bank-heavy financial sector.

"I think the market is going to have to start differentiating between (banks) that are more likely to give you a couple more negative surprises, than not," said Lex Kerkovius, senior research analyst at McLean & Partners Wealth Management Ltd, in Calgary, Alberta.

"And the second thing is, it's going to have to come to the realization that we're probably most of the way through this," Kerkovius added.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 133.04 points, or 0.98 percent, at 13,743.88, but just three of its 10 main sectors were in positive territory.

The materials sector gained 2.3 percent, helped by miners as prices for gold and other metals rallied. Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO: Quote) was up C$2.55, or 3.6 percent, at C$73.85, and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) rose C$2.03, or 4.5 percent, to C$47.19.

In the oil patch, Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) jumped C$3.39, or 4 percent, to C$89.15, and Canadian Oil Sands Trust COS_u.TO added C$2.82, or 5.8 percent, to C$51.25.   Continued...

<p>A general view of the TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange) Broadcast Centre in Toronto June 20, 2008. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>