UPDATE 2-Resource shares give boost to Toronto stocks

Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:47pm EDT
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(Updates closing numbers, adds details, quotes)

* TSX up 1 percent on day, down 1 percent on week

* Resource sectors boosted by strong earnings

* Loblaw down after profit disappoints

TORONTO, July 25 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index rose 1 percent on Friday, with resource shares climbing as investors took heart from strong earnings this week from the energy and materials sectors.

Among the leaders in the oil patch, Suncor Energy SU.TO gained 4 percent, and Petro-Canada PCA.TO rose 2.6 percent, after both companies reported a jump in profit on Thursday.

The sector was able to largely ignore a $2.23 drop that took the crude price down to $123.26 a barrel on Friday, racking up a loss of more than $23 in two weeks as it was pressured by faltering demand.

The materials sector, home to resource shares, also saw gains after this week's quarterly results from Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO, which rose 4.6 percent, and Fording Canadian Coal Trust FDG_u.TO, which gained 5.8 percent.

"My general sense is what's happening now in terms of earnings is very good, it's surprising people on the upside," said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.   Continued...