UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks rise on strong oils, resources

Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:50am EST
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(Updates stock movement, adds details, quotes)

TORONTO Feb 28 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index moved higher on Thursday morning, lifted by gains in resource shares, which offset losses in the heavyweight banking sector.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 37.67 points, or 0.27 percent, at 13,816.05 with four of its 10 main groups in positive territory.

The energy and resource-laden materials sectors helped prop up the index, rising 1 percent and 0.8 percent respectively, while the price of oil bounced over $100 a barrel due to supply concerns in Nigeria.

Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) gained C$1.33, or 1.9 percent, to C$73.15 after the oil exploration firm said fourth-quarter profit more than doubled. Elsewhere in the group, Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) rose C$2.57, or 2.6 percent, to C$103.22.

In the materials sector, Potash Corp of Saskatchewan was up C$2.91, or 1.9 percent, at C$158.93.

But the banking group, the biggest group on the index, was down 0.5 percent, with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO: Quote) dropping 1.4 percent after it posted a big first-quarter loss due to writedowns in securities exposed to the troubled U.S. mortgage market. CIBC was down 94 Canadian cents to C$68.06.

Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: Quote) lost C$1.00, or 1.9 percent, to C$53.00, while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) fell 21 Canadian cents, or 0.3 percent, to C$67.53. TD posted a 5-percent rise in profit, but that was below its target of 7-10 percent.

Investors remained wary of the beleaguered financial group, which has been hit by writedowns and jitters over more to come, said Sal Masionis, stockbroker at Brant Securities.   Continued...