CANADA STOCKS-TSX gets lift from higher oil, economic hopes

Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:34am EDT
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* TSX up 1.24 percent at 8,906.91

* Energy sector rises 2.2 pct as oil climbs (Adds details, quotes)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, March 26 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose on Thursday morning, pulled up by energy issues, which climbed with oil prices on optimism that government stimulus measures might be helping to jolt the recession-rattled global economy back to growth.

Oil and gas stocks that helped to power the market higher included Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote), up 2 percent at C$28.98, and EnCana (ECA.TO: Quote), which shot up 2.5 percent to C$54.42.

The broader energy sector climbed 2.2 percent as the price of oil rose to above $53 a barrel as the stimulus hopes offset the impact of high oil inventories. [ID:nSP460455]

At 10:10 a.m. (1410 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 109.47 points, or 1.24 percent, at 8,906.91, with eight of its 10 main groups higher. The rise followed two days in negative territory.

"You have this big debate now from traditional fundamentalists and technicians as to whether we've seen the market lows," said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC Capital Markets.

In economic news, U.S. economic growth and jobless claims data came in roughly as expected on Thursday, helping to keep investor sentiment positive. [ID:nN26447514]   Continued...