June 2, 2008 / 8:55 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 3-Toronto stocks rise as resources remain robust

(Updates closing numbers, adds detail)

*Index ends 0.7 percent higher

*Pulled up by resource shares as commodity prices firm

TORONTO, June 2 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index finished a choppy session sharply higher on Monday, lifted by gains in energy and other resource issues as commodity prices firmed.

The advances in heavyweight resource shares helped the benchmark largely ignore resurgent concern over the global impact of the credit crunch, a worry that hurt U.S. and European stock markets on Monday.

Toronto’s energy sector gained 1.8 percent as crude prices rose to $127.76 a barrel. Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) was up C$1.85, or 3.2 percent, at C$59.60, and Petro-Canada PCA.TO rose C$1.08, or 1.9 percent, to C$58.41.

Gains in miners, as bullion prices pushed higher, and agricultural firms helped the materials group rise 1.4 percent. Goldcorp (G.TO) rose 76 Canadian cents, or 1.9 percent, to C$40.73, while fertilizer company Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO added C$6.04, or 3.1 percent, to C$203.37.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 99.45 points, or 0.68 percent, at 14,814.18 with seven of its 10 main sectors on the upside.

Shares of Centerra Gold (CG.TO) were off 55 Canadian cents, or 6.2 percent, at C$8.30 after the miner said a framework agreement with the government of Kyrgyzstan had expired, highlighting concerns over the ownership of the Canadian company’s Kumtor mine.

Shares of WestJet Airlines (WJA.TO) gave up 65 Canadian cents, or 4.1 percent, to C$15.05 after a brokerage lowered its target for WestJet’s share price. The brokerage cited rising fuel costs and a possible reduction in travel as consumers reject surcharges.

The large financial sector was down 0.3 percent as Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) slid 94 Canadian cents, or 1.3 percent, to C$70.95, and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) dipped 27 Canadian cents, or 0.6 percent, to C$48.50.

South of the border, financial stocks were slammed by concerns of more fallout from the credit squeeze as Standard & Poor’s cut debt ratings of three major securities companies. ($1=$1.00 Canadian) (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Peter Galloway)

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