CANADA STOCKS-Toronto index higher on commodities

Tue Nov 18, 2008 10:46am EST
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* Energy group gains as oil edges above $55 a barrel

* TransCanada is biggest net loss leader, down 5 percent

TORONTO Nov 18 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index rose more than 1 percent on Tuesday morning as the influential, and recently battered, oil and gas sector gained along with a firmer price of oil.

The energy group climbed 1.44 percent as crude edged above $55 a barrel, after bouncing off another near-22 month low. [ID:nN181474]

The heavily weighted materials and financial groups were also higher, helping keep the overall index in positive territory after it briefly turned negative.

Shortly after 10:40 a.m. (1540 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 90.91 points, or 1.03 percent, at 8,886.36, with seven of its 10 main groups modestly higher.

TransCanada Corp (TRP.TO: Quote) was the biggest net loss leader, down 5 percent at C$32.80. The country's biggest pipeline operator said on Monday it plans to issue up to C$1.16 billion of stock to fund major projects like the Keystone oil pipeline, marking its second billion-dollar offering in half a year. [ID:nN17524623] (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson)