UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks flat in volatile session

Wed May 21, 2008 11:18am EDT
 
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*Record crude sustains energy stocks

*Profit-taking, inflation concerns weigh

TORONTO, May 21 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index was little changed on Wednesday as record-setting crude boosted energy stocks, but profit-taking and concerns over inflation chipped away at other sectors.

After a wobbly start, the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 4.86 points at 15,052.20.

Oil futures jumped above $130 a barrel after data showed U.S. crude stocks dropped unexpectedly last week, boosting the influential energy group by 0.6 percent.

"The key word is crude," Joe Ismail, technical analyst at Maison Placements Canada. "All of the technical oscillators, even the fundamentals, are overextended on oil."

Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) was flat at C$105.36. However, Talisman Energy TLM.TO, which late on Tuesday detailed a plan aimed at boosting returns, dropped 30 Canadian cents to C$24.60.

Elsewhere, the financial and technology sectors were slightly lower.   Continued...