UPDATE 3-Financials, oils give boost to Toronto stocks

Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:32pm EDT
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* TSX ends higher but trims gains with oil sector

* Financials gain on upbeat U.S. bank results

* Index ends week down 1.4 percent

By Leah Schnurr

TORONTO, July 18 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index pushed higher on Friday, supported by energy shares, while financials were buoyed as another U.S. bank posted better than expected quarterly results.

The benchmark trimmed earlier gains as the energy sector -- a key pillar of the index, along with financials -- eased as the price of oil retreated in the afternoon.

The heavyweight financial sector, which has absorbed the brunt of the fallout from the credit crunch, jumped more than 10 percent in the past three sessions, buoyed by results from banks south of the border that were not as bad as expected.

On Friday, Citigroup C.N, the largest U.S. bank by assets, reported a smaller than expected loss, helping to lift investor confidence in the financial markets.   Continued...