4 Min Read
* TSX rises 0.4 percent to 14,019.28
* Index advance in contrast to world indices
* Energy, gold-miners gains offset 7 weakening sectors (Adds details)
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose on strength in its oil and gas sector on Wednesday morning as oil prices made further gains and gold prices rose in reaction to the revolt in Libya.
The rise was dominated by strengthening energy and gold-mining issues, which helped lift the index from the near one-week lows it hit late Tuesday.
Most stock markets around the world slid further from recent 30-month highs on Wednesday and safe-haven bond markets rose on fears that unrest in Libya could spread to other oil-producing nations in the region and choke off exports. [MKTS/GLOB]. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down again after putting in its worst session since August on Tuesday.
At 10:15 a.m. (1515 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 55.60 points, or 0.4 percent, at 14,019.28. Seven of the index's 10 main groups were lower, offset by strong advances in energy and in the materials group, home to gold miners.
Brent and U.S. crude oil futures extended their rallies on the worries about supply disruptions. [O/R]
Gold-mining stocks were also on the rise, as bullion topped $1,400 an ounce and was seen as a haven from risk. The Toronto index's gold subgroup was up more than 2 percent.
"It seems the Street is taking risk off the table, and it's affecting worldwide indices. But Canada has been outperforming on the downleg, mainly because of the gold and energy," said Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada in Montreal.
"We're seeing some very strong activity on the energy with oil up another 2.5 percent."
Early blue-chip advancers were mostly from the energy and materials sectors, both of which were up more than 1 percent. Suncor Energy (SU.TO) jumped 2 percent to C$45.97, while Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) rose 2 percent to C$52.08. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) gained 2.03 percent to C$48.68, while Goldcorp (G.TO) climbed 1.97 percent to C$45.64.
In individual company news, Tim Hortons Inc THI.TO rose more than 2 percent to C$42.29 after the restaurant chain posted a higher quarterly profit helped by a gain on the sale of its Maidstone Bakeries unit. It also boosted its dividend. [ID:nN22269270]
Financials, down 0.44 percent, led the decliners as Canada's big banks start reporting quarterly results this week, beginning with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) on Thursday.
The country's top six banks as a group are expected to report year-over-year profit growth of a little less than 5 percent, although sluggish lending growth and weaker trading revenue in their just-completed fiscal first quarter could highlight more modest earnings expansion in the months ahead. [ID:nN20144909]
$1=$0.99 Canadian Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway