UPDATE 4-Energy issues, bargain-hunting lift Toronto stocks

Wed Dec 19, 2007 5:10pm EST
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By Leah Schnurr

TORONTO Dec 19 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index ended higher on Wednesday as strong energy shares and bargain-hunting provided a rally, despite an earnings warning from Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO: Quote).

The index jumped as high as 13,492.70 before drifting lower. The bounce ended the TSX's four-day losing streak but analysts were cautious as to whether it was the beginning of a late year-end rally.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 31.75 points, or 0.24 percent, at 13,389.82, with six of the TSX's 10 main sectors in positive territory.

The energy group led the advance, rising 0.7 percent, while the price of oil climbed on worries of a winter supply crunch. Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) was up 96 Canadian cents, or 0.9 percent, at C$104.41.

Talisman Energy Inc TLM.TO rose 12 Canadian cents, or 0.7 percent, to C$17.77 after it said it had begun producing oil and gas from the Wood field in the North Sea.

On the downside, shares in CIBC slid after the bank said there was a "reasonably high probability" it will incur a "large charge" in the first quarter because of its exposure to the floundering U.S. subprime mortgage market and to troubled U.S. bond insurer ACA Capital Holdings.

CIBC ended down C$1.15, or 1.6 percent, at C$71,14, while the financials sector slipped just 0.2 percent. Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO gained 6 Canadian cents, or 0.1 percent, to C$50.77, while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) lost 21 Canadian cents, or 0.3 percent, to C$70.05.   Continued...