December 21, 2007 / 10:26 PM / in 10 years

UPDATE 3-Toronto stocks leap on strong resources, RIM

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By Leah Schnurr

TORONTO, Dec 21 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index closed sharply higher on Friday after a tech and resource-fueled rally in which Research In Motion soared after posting impressive results.

BlackBerry-maker RIM RIM.TO was the net gain leader a day after the company reported that its third-quarter profit more than doubled as it pushed into the consumer market.

RIM raced ahead C$11.05, or 10.4 percent, to C$117.57 and helped pull the tech sector up 2.7 percent. Also in the sector, Celestica Inc (CLS.TO) rose 16 Canadian cents, or 2.8 percent, to C$5.85.

An advance in gold prices helped nearly all of the index’s gold producers higher, while the materials group added 3.7 percent. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) rose C$1.22, or 3.3 percent, to C$38.62, and Kinross Gold (K.TO) was up C$1.54, or 9.4 percent, at C$17.99.

“We were due for a good bounce, we’ll see if it carries out for the balance of the year,” said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.

“I get the general sense it will, just because there will be less selling pressure and people may be thinking exactly what I say where we just got too negative for a while.”

Overall, the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 189.08 points, or 1.41 percent, at 13,596.09 with all but one of the TSX’s 10 main sectors in positive territory. Health care was the only sector on the downside, dipping 0.4 percent.

The day’s bounce was the biggest in more than three weeks, but the index was still down 0.6 percent on the week.

Oil and gas shares climbed 1 percent, taking a cue from crude prices, which rose after a report showing a jump in personal spending in the United States calmed worries over the state of the U.S. economy.

Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) was up C$1.64, or 3.1 percent, at C$54.08, and Suncor Energy (SU.TO) rose C$1.33, or 1.3 percent, to C$106.06.

Banking shares managed a slight 0.1 percent gain, as financials south of the border advanced after a Wall Street Journal report that U.S. investment bank Merrill Lynch & Co Inc MER.N may get up to a $5 billion capital injection from a Singapore state investor.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) gained 84 Canadian cents, or 1.2 percent, to C$71.35. But Coventree Inc COF.TO slumped 28 Canadian cents, or 29.2 percent, to 68 Canadian cents after the finance firm said its capital markets business “is no longer viable” due to the disruption in the asset-backed commercial paper market.

Rick Hutcheon, president and chief operating officer at RKH Investments, said it is too early for investors to get overly optimistic about the index’s performance.

“We’ve got to use this as a bit of a base, and find a level and work our way higher,” Hutcheon said. “Once we’ve seen the market maintain some level of stability and gradually work its way to higher levels, that’s what we need to establish some confidence.”

Market volume was 545 million shares worth C$10.5 billion. Advancers outpaced decliners 1,046 to 633. The blue chip S&P/TSX 60 index .TSE60 closed up 10.49 points, or 1.34 percent, at 794.79.

In New York, Research In Motion also added shine to tech shares and financials helped pull the markets up.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI closed up 205.01 points, or 1.55 percent, at 13,450.65, and the Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC rose 51.13 points, or 1.94 percent, to 2,691.99. ($1=$0.99 Canadian) (Editing by Peter Galloway)

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