CANADA STOCKS-Market gets lift from rising oil

Thu Oct 23, 2008 5:44pm EDT
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* Energy stocks get lift as oil firms above $67

* Materials group down 3.2 percent as metal prices slide

* Petro-Canada stock rises ON quarterly results (Adds analyst quotes, details)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, Oct 23 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index closed nearly 100 points higher in a volatile session on Thursday as energy issues got a boost from a higher crude price and strong earnings from major companies in the oil and gas sector.

The heavily weighted energy group led the benchmark index higher, rising 3.5 percent as oil rose on expectations of an OPEC supply cut [ID:nSYD377354].

Strong earnings from Petro-Canada PCA.TO [ID:nN23293318] and EnCana (ECA.TO: Quote) [ID:nBNG274906] also helped boost the sector.

Investors are eagerly awaiting any announcement by OPEC on production cuts, aimed at firming crude prices, given the rapid slide in oil prices from record levels above $147 a barrel on fears of a global recession and plunging demand.

"The main reason is the OPEC meeting tomorrow and there are rumors floating around on what the size of the cutback will be by OPEC," said Sal Masionis, a stockbroker at Brant Securities.   Continued...