CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits highest since Sept 2008 on oil rush

Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:06pm EST
 
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* TSX climbs 0.85 percent to 13,551.99

* Energy shares jump 2.74 pct as oil soars on Egypt woes

* Imperial Oil up 4.6 pct on strong results

TORONTO, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index touched its highest level since September 2008 on Monday as the uprising in Egypt sparked a jump in the price of oil and a rally in energy shares.

Brent oil prices surged above $101 a barrel for the first time since 2008, while U.S. crude hit its highest point since October 2008 on concern that unrest in Egypt could spread to crude-producing countries in the Middle East or disrupt Suez Canal flows. [O/R]

As a result, oil and gas companies were among top gainers in Toronto on Monday. Suncor Energy SU.TO added 3.55 percent to C$41.46, while Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO climbed 3.64 percent to C$44.65. Husky Energy HSE.TO gained 3.53 percent to C$27, and Talisman Energy TLM.TO rose 3.61 percent to C$22.94.

"It's all energy," said Barry Schwartz, vice president and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.

"My gut tells me that the market has overreacted and a lot of these gains that we're seeing in the oil stocks will be given back in a month to come."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 114.41 points, or 0.85 percent, at 13,551.99. Eight of the index's 10 sectors were higher, led by a 2.74 percent climb in the oil and gas group.   Continued...