UPDATE 3-Toronto stocks edge higher as resource issues rise

Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:41pm EDT
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(Updates closing numbers, adds details)

*TSX index ends choppy session little changed

*Financials dragged by worries of credit crunch fallout

*Gold producers rise with bullion price

TORONTO, Aug 18 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index finished slightly higher on Monday as a rise in resource shares offset nagging fears of more fallout from the credit crunch.

In choppy action, the materials sector was lifted 2 percent by gold producers, which rose along with bullion prices and helped to put a floor under the benchmark index.

Gold climbed to end just under $800 an ounce while the U.S. dollar weakened. Traders said Monday's action could be the beginning of a bounce back from recent declines for gold prices. Goldcorp G.TO was up 3.8 percent at C$32.35, while Barrick Gold ABX.TO added 3.3 percent to C$35.06.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 22.67 points, or 0.17 percent, at 13,119.37 after climbing by more than 1 percent earlier in the day. Of its 10 main sectors, half were higher.

The financial-services sector fell 1 percent, tripped up by sliding bank shares in the United States amid anxiety over the possibility of more losses stemming from the U.S. mortgage crisis.   Continued...