CANADA STOCKS-TSX rides oil price to higher close

Wed Aug 19, 2009 5:04pm EDT
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* TSX up 12.99 points, or 0.12 percent, at 10,686.83

* Energy sector up 0.3 percent as oil price up 4 percent

* Investors bid up banks ahead of results next week (Adds details, quote)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index ended slightly higher on Wednesday, helped by firmness in energy shares as oil prices jumped after a U.S. inventory report fueled hope that oil demand could be recovering.

Oil company Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) climbed 0.3 percent to C$63.64, and EnCana (ECA.TO: Quote) was up 0.6 percent at C$56.84.

The index fought back from a 1.5 percent slide earlier in the session, when market sentiment was undermined by a big selloff on Chinese stock markets that shook investor confidence about the strength of global economic recovery.

The choppiness of trade highlighted anxiety in the market, said Kate Warne, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis, Missouri.

"There's still concerns about whether economic growth globally is going to resume at a fast enough pace to support the higher stock prices we've already seen," Warne said.   Continued...