3 Min Read
(Adds official close, details)
*TSX closes higher after choppy session
*Golds, energy issues gain along with commodity prices
*Financials drag due to credit crunch woes
TORONTO, June 27 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index ended with a moderate gain on Friday as resource stocks were propped up by gold and oil prices, while the rest of the market followed the lead of sliding U.S. stocks.
Oil prices hit a record high near $143 a barrel, spurring fears of inflation and economic malaise, which in turn helped push gold prices near $930 an ounce.
"We had oil, gold, and even potash up, and that's pretty much the story. They made up for the declines in the financials," said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities.
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE rose 63.07 points, or 0.44 percent, to finish at 14,355.21.
But eight of the 10 TSX subgroups weakened, with strength focused in materials stocks, up 2.87 percent, and energy issues, which rose 0.88 percent.
Fertilizer producer Potash Corp (POT.TO), one of the largest stocks on the index, rose C$7.77, or 3.5 percent, to end at C$230.26.
The financials group fell 0.61 percent, hurt by nagging concerns over further fallout from the credit crunch.
A report from Lehman Brothers said that Merrill Lynch & Co MER.N will likely see $5.4 billion worth of writedowns in the second quarter, adding to concerns voiced earlier in the week, and rattling Toronto's financial stocks.
Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) eased 65 Canadian cents, or 1.4 percent, to C$47.25.
Heavily weighted BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion RIM.TO> fell C$3.14, or 2.5 percent, to C$122.00, two days after issuing a disappointing profit forecast.
Shaw Communications (SJRb.TO), Canada's No. 2 cable and satellite-TV company, climbed 46 Canadian cents, or 2.4 percent, to C$19.79 after it posted a gain in third-quarter profit. ($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Cameron French; Editing by Peter Galloway)