Toronto stocks get boost from resources, energy

Mon Jan 14, 2008 5:22pm EST
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By Wojtek Dabrowski

TORONTO (Reuters) - The benchmark index of the Toronto Stock Exchange finished higher on Monday as resource and energy issues offset a disappointing performance from the financial sector, which continued to waver in the face of the global credit crisis.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE rose 65.71 points, or 0.48 percent, to close at 13,698.28.

Gold surged to a historic high above $910 an ounce on a weaker U.S. dollar and expectations of a U.S. interest rate cut, lifting with it the TSX's resource-laden materials sector, which added 2.32 percent.

Financials dragged on the broader index, shedding 1.07 percent on the day. Shortly before the end of the session, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO: Quote) said it will take US$1.6 billion in after-tax writedowns related to its involvement in the battered U.S. subprime mortgage market. It also plans to raise C$2.75 billion to shore up its balance sheet.

It stock was last at C$72.07, up 76 Canadian cents, before being halted.

"I think the financial sector had a tougher time today, to put it mildly, and I think that's a reflection of the risks that are pretty severe in this business," said Glenn MacNeill, vice-president of investments at Sentry Select Capital Corp.

Energy shares also helped prop up the Toronto market, rising 1.37 percent.

Overall, six of the composite's 10 main subgroups moved higher. The S&P/TSX 60 index of Canadian blue chips added 3.18 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 805.33.   Continued...