UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks higher on oil, financials

Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:34am EDT
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*Energy shares rise with oil prices

*Financials get boost from U.S. Fed news

*WestJet flies higher on quarterly results

TORONTO, July 30 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index was 200 points higher on Wednesday morning as energy shares rose along with oil prices and heavily-weighted financial-services shares were up on easing concerns about the credit crunch.

The energy sector was up 2.9 percent as oil prices rose on a U.S. report that showed gas supplies fell sharply last week. Canadian Oil Sands Trust COS_u.TO rose C$1.99, or 4.1 percent, to C$51.05, after the company said it swung to a profit in the second quarter due to record high oil prices.

Financial services rose 0.9 percent as the market digested news that the U.S. Federal Reserve would extend a measure to boost liquidity in financial markets. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) was up C$1.08, or 2.4 percent, at C$46.66.

Also boosting sentiment was a report that showed U.S. private employers unexpectedly added jobs in July, said Bob Gorman, chief portfolio strategist at TD Waterhouse.

"When you've been in a period characterized by extraordinary negative investor sentiment some cracks in the cloud seem like awfully good news," he said.   Continued...