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