CANADA STOCKS-Energy stocks nudge TSX to 27-month high

Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:33pm EST
 
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   * TSX 15.55 points, or 0.12 percent, higher at C$13,380.70
 * Highest close since Aug. 29, 2008
 * Six of the 10 main groups advance
 * Crude oil jumps above $90
 By Solarina Ho
 TORONTO, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index eked
out a small gain on Wednesday to close at its highest level in
more than 27 months as stronger energy issues offset a drop in
materials stocks.
 The heavyweight energy group led six of the index's 10 main
groups higher, and was up 1.07 percent as oil prices jumped
above $90 a barrel for the first time in more than two years.
[O/R]
 A third straight drop in U.S. crude inventories and cold
weather helped lift oil prices. Suncor Energy SU.TO was up
2.19 percent at C$38.34, Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO
rose 1.19 percent to C$44.38, while Canadian Oil Sands Trust
COS_u.TO climbed 2 percent to C$26.00.
 The materials group, home to mining companies, was down
1.19 percent. Barrick Gold ABX.TO was off 1.24 percent to
C$51.97, while Agnico Eagle AEM.TO slid 1.95 percent to
C$76.35.
 Gold miners moved in tandem with gold prices, which fell in
light trading. [GOL/]
 "The euro is dropping a little bit on some sovereign
concerns, so you're seeing the U.S. dollar strengthen, putting
a little bit of dampening on gold prices," said Youssef Zohny,
an associate portfolio manager at Van Arbor Asset Management.
 "You're seeing a little bit of profit-taking into the
year-end."
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE closed up 15.55 points, or 0.12 percent, at
C$13,380.70. The last time it closed higher than that level was
on Aug. 29, 2008, when it was at 13,771.25.
 South of the border, the S&P 500 .SPX climbed above
1,255.08, a level last seen in September 2008 before investment
bank Lehman Brothers collapsed.
 Overall trading was light, however, as the Christmas
holiday weekend approached. The TSX will close early on Friday.
In the United States, markets are closed on Friday and will be
open again on Dec. 27.
 "The market's taking a little breather from its rally,"
said Zohny. "Economic data out of the U.S. today was a little
bit worse than expected in terms of GDP numbers, so that's
keeping a lid on the rally." [ID:nN22291718]
Shares of MI Developments MIMa.TO, the property arm of
Magna International, soared 44.93 percent to C$28.00 after news
that Canadian billionaire Frank Stronach was set to give up
control of the company in exchange for horse racing track
assets. [ID:nN22100327]
 ($1=$1.01 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Peter Galloway)