Toronto stocks inch higher on back of oil shares

Mon Dec 31, 2007 9:54am EST
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TORONTO Dec 31 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index inched up early on Monday, the last trading day of the year, as rising energy stocks outweighed falling materials stocks.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE added 26.87 points, or 0.2 percent, at 13,848.21 with seven of its 10 main groups in positive territory.

U.S. crude oil futures advanced 60 cents to $96.60 a barrel, spurring the TSX oil and gas sector up 0.3 percent. Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) added 97 Canadian cents to C$109.36.

The TSX materials sector, meanwhile, fell 0.3 percent with Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO: Quote) down 28 Canadian cents at C$141.33.

The index has risen modestly in December, and is set to finish 7 percent higher in 2007. Canada's benchmark stock index rose by 14.5 percent in 2006, and by more than 22 percent in 2005.

($1=$0.98 Canadian) (Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Ka Yan Ng)