UPDATE 2-Toronto stocks end with flat session, up on year

Mon Dec 31, 2007 4:28pm EST
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(Adds details, comments, official closing data)

By Wojtek Dabrowski

TORONTO Dec 31 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index ended 2007 on a flat note on Monday, as buyers managed to keep the benchmark out of the red in a broad but insignificant move upward.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE added 11.72 points, or 0.08 percent, to close at 13,833.06. On the final trading day of last year, it closed at 12,908.39, gaining 14.5 percent for 2006.

Monday's year-end session gave the energy- and resource-skewed TSX composite a gain of 7.2 percent for 2007, though some commentators warned investors to exercise caution in celebrating too strongly.

"We could see this bull market sort of come to a halt," said Elvis Picardo, investment strategist at Northern Securities Inc in Vancouver. "After five straight years of gains, we could see the TSX down ... marginally next year."

On Monday, seven of the 10 main groups moved higher, but by relatively small amounts. The energy sector added 0.03 percent, while financials gained 0.26 percent. The resource-heavy materials group inched 0.05 percent lower.

The year saw investors grapple with the credit crunch that emerged in August following trouble in the U.S. subprime mortgage market. Problems in a part of the asset-backed commercial paper market also plagued Canada.

Picardo predicted that in 2008, liquidity issues will continue to weigh.

"The credit crunch was a really unexpected development," he said. "Going into 2008, that still continues to be the biggest sort of overhang on the markets."

($1=$0.99 Canadian) (Reporting by Wojtek Dabrowski; editing by Rob Wilson)