June 2, 2008 / 4:55 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 2-Toronto stocks rally with oils after shaky morning

(Updates to early afternoon)

*Key index recovers after choppy morning action

*Resources climb as oil price rebounds

*Lululemon Athletica gains ahead of quarterly results

TORONTO, June 2 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index pushed higher early on Monday afternoon with resource shares finding traction as oil prices regained ground.

After a see-saw start to the session, the index’s heavyweight oil and gas group was up 1.3 percent. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) was up C$1.86, or 1.9 percent, at C$99.10, and Suncor Energy (SU.TO) rose C$1.32, or 2 percent, to C$69.08.

The resource-laden materials sector gained 1.7 percent, with help from gold producers and agriculture companies. Fertilizer producer Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO advanced C$6.71, or 3.4 percent, to C$204.04, and competitor Agrium AGU.TO added C$2.27, or 2.6 percent, to C$89.03.

“It started on a bit of an off note with energies, but it looks like the materials and, in particular, the agriculture stocks have managed to pull things up,” said Michael Sprung, president at Sprung & Co. Investment Counsel.

“It’s basically a commodities boom pushing Canada today,” Sprung added.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 68.01 points, or 0.46 percent, at 14,782.74 in the early afternoon with four of its 10 main sectors looking up. The index had touched a low of 14,647.73 earlier in the day and had climbed as high as 14,858.89.

Gold miners were boosted as bullion prices strengthened. Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) rose C$1.61, or 2.3 percent, to C$71.96, and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) advanced 95 Canadian cents, or 2.4 percent, to C$40.98.

Sprung noted that the push from commodities and resource issues has been a typical theme for the index over the last number of months as it surged into record-high territory.

“It really has been an oil-driven market, with, unfortunately, very little depth through to any other sectors,” Sprung said.

Also on the upswing, shares of yoga wear retailer Lululemon Athletica LLL.TO were up 1.20 Canadian cents, or 3.7 percent, at C$33.28 ahead of its quarterly results, which are expected after the closing bell.

On the downside, Centerra Gold (CG.TO) was off 61 Canadian cents, or 6.9 percent, to C$8.24 after it said a framework agreement with the government of Kyrgyzstan expired, underscoring concern about the ownership of the Canadian miner’s Kumtor mine. ($1=$1.00 Canadian) (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Peter Galloway)

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