CANADA STOCKS-TSX higher as energy, bank issues support

Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:28am EDT
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* TSX up 0.23 percent at 8,615.90

* Air Canada shares fall after CEO resigns

(Adds details, quote)

TORONTO, March 31 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose on Tuesday morning, but was off early highs, as steady oil prices helped spur investors to buy following a market stumble in the previous session.

The energy sector, up 0.8 percent, led the resource-laden index higher as oil CLc1 held steady above $48 a barrel following big losses in the previous session. [ID:nLV397488]

Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO rose 0.4 percent to C$48.94.

The heavily-weighted financials group, which accounts for about one-third of the index's total weight, rose 0.6 percent with Manulife Financial (MFC.TO: Quote) up 1.5 percent at C$13.92. Toronto-Dominion (TD.TO: Quote) climbed 1.9 percent to C$42.79.

"The Canadian market was sold-off yesterday so it looks like a bit of a technical bounce," said Bruce Latimer, trader at Dundee Securities.

At 9:55 a.m. (1355 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 19.68 points, or 0.23 percent, at 8,615.90, with four of its 10 main groups higher. Earlier, the index shot up more than 1 percent.   Continued...