CANADA STOCKS-TSX edges higher, led by financials

Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33am EST
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* Eight groups advance, financials lead

* Oil falls more than $1/barrel, weighs on energy sector

* Sliding gold price leads materials group lower

TORONTO, Dec 30 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose on Tuesday morning as advances in financial and industrial shares offset declines in resources on retreating gold and oil prices.

At 10:30 a.m. (1500 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 52.54 points, or 0.61 percent, at 8,689.83.

The index began the session slightly lower but gains from eight of the index's 10 main groups outweighed a drag from the oil and gas and materials sectors, which had advanced strongly in the previous session.

The heavily-weighted financials group was up 1.6 percent, as Toronto Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote), Manulife Financial (MFC.TO: Quote), and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) were among the biggest movers on the index.

The industrial, consumer discretionary, retailers and telecoms were all more than 1 percent higher.

Oil fell below $40 a barrel, pressured by gloom about prospects for world economic growth which outweighed heightened tensions in the Middle East due to the Israeli-Hamas conflict. For details, see [ID:nSIN393322].   Continued...