CANADA STOCKS-TSX higher as oil prices boost energy shares

Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:02am EST
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 * TSX up 14.97 points at 11,644.47
 * Oil prices climb to near $80/bbl
 * RIM shares slide on BMO downgrade
 (Adds details, comments)
 By Irene Kuan
 TORONTO, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index held
on to slim gains on Wednesday morning as soft U.S. data cut
into an early rally that saw the TSX climb to its highest level
in 13 months on strength in energy issues.
 Pipeline company Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO: Quote) was up 1 percent at
C$44.53, while Nexen Inc NXY.TO, Canada's No. 4 independent
oil explorer, rose 0.6 percent to C$27.02.
 The rally in energy stocks came as oil prices rose to near
$80 a barrel after an industry report showed U.S. crude oil
stocks dropped steeply last week. [O/R]
 "The commodities are strong. Gold is better, oil is better,
the Canadian dollar is better. A lot of that has spread over
into the metals market and gold market," said Bruce Latimer,
trader at Dundee Securities.
 At 10:35 a.m. (1535 GMT) The S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE was up 14.97 points, or 0.12 percent, at 11,644.47.
Earlier, it rose as high as 11,702.25, which marked its highest
level since October 2008.
 But much of that early gain was undercut by an unexpected
fall in new U.S. home construction, which sparked worries about
the strength of an economic recovery. That weighed on U.S.
stocks and hit sentiment in Canada. [ID:nN1899353]
 Also capping the early gains were shares of Research In
Motion RIM.TO, which fell 2.3 percent to C$63.05 after BMO
Capital Markets downgraded the BlackBerry maker to "market
perform" from "outperform," citing concerns about its 2011
earnings. [ID:nBNG462185]
 (Reporting by Irene Kuan; editing by Rob Wilson)