CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends higher after listless session

Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:29pm EDT
 
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* TSX rises 50 points to 10,597.98

* Energy shares get boost from oil (Adds details, comments and official numbers)

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, June 10 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index closed higher on Wednesday as firmer oil prices boosted energy shares, but the rise was limited by concerns about the North American economy.

The energy sector ended up 1.4 percent and was the key driver behind the TSX's latest gain as it drew momentum from the surge in oil prices to a seven-month high.

That helped boost shares of EnCana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote) by 2.5 percent to C$62.28, and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) by 1.4 percent to C$64.50.

The TSX, which dropped just 1 point on Tuesday, put it a subdued performance compared with the slew of triple-digit advances it recorded during its 41-percent climb from the five-year low it skidded to in March.

"This is absolutely a market that's looking for direction and that's typical of what happens after a strong runup like we've had," said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.

"Investors are basically just looking for reasons to push the market higher and at the same time there is a considerable body of skeptics, and that includes me, who say markets have gone very fast in a short span of time and we need some time to digest these gains here."

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed 50.12 points, or 0.48 percent, higher at 10,597.98. Early in the session it rallied as 126 points to 10,674.14, its highest level since Oct. 14.

($1=$1.11 Canadian) (Editing by Peter Galloway)