UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks gain as resources, banks climb

Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:34am EDT
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(Updates to midmorning)

*TSX gains in choppy morning action

*Financials and resources rise after Thursday's decline

*Loblaw falls on its second-quarter results

TORONTO, July 25 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index pushed higher in choppy action on Friday, helped by resource shares, which climbed despite soft commodity prices.

Financial-services shares climbed on bargain-hunting following a steep selloff on Thursday. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) added 1.2 percent.

Resource shares were among the biggest gainers by weight, including Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO: Quote), which rose 5.2 percent. Potash Corp boosted its 2008 forecast on Thursday, and said it tripled its second-quarter earnings.

Joe Ismail, technical analyst at Maison Placements Canada, said the day was likely to remain choppy.

"The financials are cheap, to be blunt about it," said Ismail. "(Investors) might not get back in in full force - they will probably try to pick and choose which banks they would like to play."   Continued...