UPDATE 2-Resources, energy prop up Toronto stocks

Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:30pm EST
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(Adds details, comments, official closing numbers)

By Wojtek Dabrowski

TORONTO Jan 14 (Reuters) - The benchmark index of the Toronto Stock Exchange finished higher on Monday as resource and energy issues offset a disappointing performance by 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 said it will take a US$1.6 billion after-tax writedown related to its involvement in the battered U.S. subprime mortgage market. It will also raise C$2.75 billion to shore up its balance sheet.

"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, as their group rose 1.37 percent.

($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Wojtek Dabrowski; Editing by Rob Wilson)