UPDATE 4-Toronto stocks get lift from oil, US bailout hopes

Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:10pm EDT
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* TSX ends with small gain as energy shares strengthen

* U.S. looks near final deal on bailout proposal

* Shares of gold producers fall along with bullion price (Adds details, quotes)

By Leah Schnurr

TORONTO, Sept 25 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index edged higher on Thursday as optimism that the U.S. Congress was close to agreement on a rescue plan for the financial sector pushed oils and financials higher, offseting sagging gold issues.

Financial shares climbed 1.5 percent, with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce CM.TO up 2.7 percent at C$64.00.

The heavyweight energy sector also helped lift the market, taking its cue from oil prices, which also rose on hopes for the U.S. bailout. Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO was up 2.4 percent at C$84.15, while the group rose 1.5 percent.

"We're still going through the obligatory political posturing by the various politicians there until they finally decide that they're going to write this thing into law," said Lex Kerkovius, senior research analyst at McLean & Partners Wealth Management Ltd in Calgary, Alberta.

"The general undertone right now ... is that this has got to be done because if you don't do it, we're dead," he added. For stories on bailout see [ID:nN13574113].   Continued...