CANADA STOCKS-TSX up 2.7 pct as Mideast tensions boost oil

Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:10am EST
 
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* Oil price rises on tensions in the Mideast

* Materials forge ahead more than 8 percent

* All 10 sectors in positive territory

TORONTO, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose 2.7 percent on Monday morning, bolstered by the materials and energy sectors as tensions in the Middle East supported oil and gold prices.

The energy group rose about 4 percent as violence between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip raised concerns that the tensions could disrupt crude supplies from the Middle East.

Oil prices neared $39 a barrel after vaulting above $40 earlier. For details, see [ID:nSIN417179]. Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO rose 4.6 percent to C$45.30.

The materials group also advanced, climbing about 8 percent as shares tracked oil prices. Among the top net gainers were fertilizer company Potash Corp POT.TO, which rose 8.4 percent to C$88.57, and miner Agnico Eagle AEM.TO, which rose 7.7 percent to C$60.72.

At 10 a.m. (1500 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 2.7 percent, or 227.86 points, at 8538.41. All 10 of the index's main groups were higher on the first trading day since the Christmas break when the index closed flat.

Volume is expected to be light again with the trading week shortened by New Year's Day holiday on Thursday. ($1=$1.22 Canadian) (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; Editing by Frank McGurty)