Toronto stocks rise on banks and BCE rebound

Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:52am EDT
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TORONTO, March 27 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index edged higher early on Thursday, with bank and energy shares leading the way, and BCE Inc (BCE.TO: Quote) bouncing back from the previous session.

But sliding gold prices took the wind out of TSX gold producers, muting gains on the overall index.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 26.93 points, or 0.2 percent, at 13,418.79.

BCE added 66 Canadian cents to C$36.38. In the previous session, the stock fell amid speculation that credit financing for the takeover of Canada's No. 1 telecom firm would collapse.

Those worries eased on Thursday after a Texas court ruling that may force banks to finance the $20-billion leveraged buyout of U.S. radio operator Clear Channel Communications CCU.N, was seen as a harbinger for the BCE deal amid the global credit crisis.

Elsewhere, financial shares added 1 percent while the energy sector gained 0.2 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) was up 67 Canadian cents at C$48.10.

On the downside, the gold subsector dipped 1.4 percent as the price of spot gold fell below $948 an ounce.

($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Scott Anderson)