UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks pulled higher by resources

Fri May 30, 2008 10:47am EDT
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(Updates to midmorning)

*Index pushes higher as resources shares rebound

*Energy sector trims gains as oil price retreats

TORONTO, May 30 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's was sharply higher, but off early highs, on Friday morning, rising on renewed strength in big resource companies.

In choppy action, the price of oil retreated, causing the energy sector to trim its advances. But the sector held on to a 0.8-percent gain, with Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) up C$1.49, or 1.6 percent, at C$96.74, while Imperial Oil (IMO.TO: Quote) rose 69 Canadian cents, or 1.2 percent, at C$57.39.

The materials sector also gathered momentum, with Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO: Quote) adding C$2.62, or 1.4 percent, to C$197.20. Miners also came back from losses on Thursday. Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO: Quote) was up C$1.32, or 1.9 percent, at C$69.28, while the materials group rose 1.3 percent.

Paul Hand, managing director at RBC Capital Markets, said that so far the index seemed to be moving in tandem with the fluctuating price of oil.

"It's really directionless at the moment and (there was) not a lot of news overnight," Hand said.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 75.58 points, or 0.52 percent, at 14,652.75 with half of its 10 main groups looking up. The benchmark had jumped as high as 14,736.88 immediately after the opening bell.   Continued...