UPDATE 4-Toronto stocks boosted by strong oils, banks

Tue Feb 26, 2008 5:12pm EST
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By Leah Schnurr

TORONTO Feb 26 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index pushed higher for a third day in a row on Tuesday, propelled by strong financials and rising energy shares as oil hit a record high settlement.

The oil and energy group, which accounts for about 25 percent of the index, climbed 1.4 percent as crude jumped amid a weak U.S. dollar. Oil reached a record settlement of $100.88 a barrel, up $1.65.

Canadian Oil Sands Trust COS_u.TO rose C$1.54, or 3.8 percent, to C$41.80 and Imperial Oil (IMO.TO: Quote) gained 93 Canadian cents, or 1.7 percent, to C$55.60.

The heavyweight financial sector also helped the advance, adding 1.5 percent. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO: Quote) was up C$2.09, or 3.1 percent, at C$70.19 while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) gained 77 Canadian cents, or 1.2 percent, to C$67.81.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 99.56 points, or 0.73 percent, at 13,797.01 with seven of its 10 main groups in positive territory.

"I think there is (enthusiasm), but I think, as investors, we have to be cautions," said Adrian Mastracci, portfolio manager and president at KCM Wealth Management Inc in Vancouver.

"We haven't fixed the underlying difficulties, the foundations still have some cracks in them -- we just choose to ignore the fact that they have cracks at the moment," Mastracci said.   Continued...