CANADA STOCKS-Energy stocks help TSX rally to one week high

Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:58pm EDT
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* TSX ends session up 160.65 points at 13,897.48

* Nine of 10 main sectors stronger (Updates with details, comments)

By John McCrank

TORONTO, April 20 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rallied to a one-week high on Wednesday, as surging oil prices gave a boost to energy stocks and a raft of solid U.S. earnings boosted investor sentiment.

The energy group rose 2.14 percent, spurred by a 2.9 percent jump in the price of U.S. crude oil above $111 a barrel. Oil gained on data that showed a steep drop in U.S. stockpiles. [ID:nWEN1498] [O/R]

Suncor Energy SU.TO gained 2.73 percent to C$42.51, Baytex Energy BTE.TO rose 2.03 percent to C$57.91, and Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO was up 2.41 percent to C$44.25.

Encana Corp ECA.TO had been down for much of the day after it delayed growth plans due to stubbornly weak natural gas prices. But even its stock managed to close up 0.29 percent. [ID:nN20166251]

"It's probably a bit premature to assume commodity prices have peaked," said Patricia Mohr, vice president, economics and commodity market specialist at Scotia Capital in Toronto. She said that demand in China would likely increase and the strengthening U.S. economy would add to supply pressures.

The materials group advanced 1.06 percent, led by miners such as First Quantum Minerals FM.TO, up a hefty 6.73 percent to C$128.60, Inmet Mining IMN.TO, up 4.24 percent to C$70.05, and Teck Resources TCKb.TO up 4.24 percent to C$70.05.   Continued...