RPT-UPDATE 3-Toronto stocks push higher after Fed rate cut

Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:59pm EST
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(Refiles to fix spelling of 'stocks' in headline) (Updates with analyst comment)

TORONTO Jan 30 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index jumped into positive territory on Wednesday afternoon, immediately after the U.S. Federal Reserve cut its key interest rate by 50 basis points and left the door open for more intervention.

The Fed cut, which was widely expected, is intended to boost a slowing U.S. economy and shore up falling stock markets that were rattled by the prospect of a U.S. recession. For details, see: [nN30192682]

"It looks like the Fed is still giving itself some room to continue cutting rates if problems continue to exist," said Bruce Latimer, a trader at Dundee Securities.

"They didn't close the door, and that's been taken as a positive."

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 12.21 points, or 0.1 percent, at 13,058.64. It was down more than 100 points earlier in the session.

The energy sector was up 0.9 percent and utilities were up 0.4 percent. On the downside, consumer staples slipped 1.1 percent and industrials fell 1.3 percent.

Suncor Energy SU.TO led all gainers, up C$2.84 at C$93.94, after the company said it will spend C$20.6 billion on expansions that will make it the biggest producer in Alberta's vast oil sands.

Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO led all losers, down C$5.03 at C$135.73.

The index has advanced in five of the last six days, bouncing back from a steep drop in mid-January as fears of a recession gripped global markets.

($1=$0.99 Canadian) (Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Rob Wilson)