CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as oil price hits two-year high

Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:51am EST
 
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 * TSX gains 0.1 percent to 13,378.61                
 * Rise in energy shares spurred by oil price above $90
 (Adds details)
 TORONTO, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was
slightly higher on Wednesday morning, pushed up almost
single-handedly by oil and gas shares as oil prices hit a
two-year high.
 Eight of the index's 10 main groups were lower in early
dealings, and the 0.9 percent advance in the hefty oil and gas
group was the index's key support.
 Oil rose above $90 a barrel for only the third time in two
years, supported by a report showing a drop in U.S. oil and
gasoline inventories as well as by cold weather and a weaker
dollar. It hit its highest level since October 2008. [O/R]
 Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) gained 1.25 percent to
C$44.41, while EnCana (ECA.TO: Quote) was up 0.9 percent at C$29.48.
Nexen NXY.TO rose 1.7 percent to C$22.22, and Canadian Oil
Sands Trust COS_u.TO was up almost 1 percent at C$25.74.
 "The bulk of the strength is coming from the energy
sector...for the very simple reason that crude oil futures are
strong here this morning," said Fred Ketchen, director of
equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod.
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE was 13.46 points, or 0.1 percent, higher at
13,378.61.
 ($1=$1.02 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)