UPDATE 2-Toronto stocks boosted by resources, results

Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:48pm EDT
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(Updates closing numbers, adds details)

TORONTO, April 30 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index trimmed gains but still ended more than 100 points higher on Wednesday, helped by optimism over corporate results and better than expected economic data south of the border.

Resource shares bounced back from the previous session's slump, sending the energy and materials sectors up 1.5 percent each, even while underlying oil prices fell. Gold futures rose slightly in after hours trading.

The consumer staples group added 2.4 percent, with Loblaw Cos L.TO jumping C$2.28, or 7.7 percent, to C$31.83 after Canada's biggest grocer said its profit rose but that it was disappointed by its sales growth.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 109.94 points, or 0.8 percent, at 13,935.54 with six of its 10 main sectors pointing higher.

In the materials group, Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO rose C$2.12, or 1.2 percent, to C$185.39, while in the oil patch, Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO was up C$2.74, or 3.3 percent, at C$85.55.

Canadian Natural said construction at its Horizon Oil Sands Project was 94 percent complete at the end of March. The company plans to start producing oil there by the third quarter.

In the day's round of quarterly results, Brookfield Asset Management BAMa.TO rose C$2.10, or 6.8 percent, to C$32.85 after it said its first-quarter profit was slightly higher despite a depreciation of its assets.

Shares of Open Text OTC.TO vaulted to a year high the day after the business software maker reported stronger third-quarter results helped by growth in license and customer support sales. Open Text closed up C$2.64, or 7.6 percent, at C$37.19.

On the economic front, data out of the United States showed the economy of Canada's largest trading partner grew at a slightly stronger pace than expected in the first quarter. The numbers helped boost investor confidence, despite a decline in Canadian gross domestic product in February. ($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Peter Galloway)