UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks jump on commodities, shrug off BMO

Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:06am EST
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TORONTO Feb 19 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market index jumped more than 200 points on Tuesday as firm commodity prices helped investors shrug off further charges at Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: Quote).

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 175.48 points, or 1.3 percent, at 13,402.24 after touching a high of 14,434.52 at the open.

All 10 of the TSX index's main groups rose, led by a 2.2 percent boost in the influential energy group and a 2.8 percent jump in the resource-heavy materials group. The gold subgroup was up 3.5 percent.

"Commodities are quite strong and that is obviously going to keep a bid in certain sectors of the Canadian market," said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC Capital Markets.

"Still it's a very emotional market predicated on the issues predominantly on the credit, subprime and CDO (collateralized debt obligations) mess in the U.S."

Energy shares climbed with U.S. crude oil prices which rose 2.9 percent to $98.26 a barrel on supply worries sparked by an ongoing feud between Venezuela and Exxon Mobil (XOM.N: Quote) and word that OPEC is not expected to boost supply.

Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) gained C$2.96 to C$68.06 and Nexen Inc added 53 Canadian cents to C$29.37.

Metal shares were underpinned by firm precious metal prices including another record high for platinum and rising gold prices which touched a week high above $923 an ounce.   Continued...