December 5, 2007 / 10:14 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 4-Energy issues pull Toronto stocks broadly higher

(Adds details, quotes)

By Leah Schnurr

TORONTO, Dec 5 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index ended sharply higher on Wednesday, in a broad rally helped by strong energy issues amid news of an oil sands joint venture between Husky Energy Inc (HSE.TO) and BP Plc (BP.L).

The venture will link a BP refinery in Ohio with Husky’s Sunrise project in Alberta’s oil sands. The news made Husky’s stock one of the biggest net advancers by weight, up C$2.14, or 5.5 percent, to C$41.29.

Also putting interest in energy issues was news that OPEC would keep oil output unchanged. Elsewhere in the sector, Suncor Energy (SU.TO) was up C$3.74, or 3.8 percent, at C$102.62, while the group as a whole was up 2 percent.

“(It’s) another oil sands business moving forward, so I think, in spite of what’s going on with royalties in Alberta, there are companies who are looking longer term and are prepared to work through it,” said Brian Pow, vice-president, research and equity analyst, at Acumen Capital Partners in Calgary.

The composite index also got broad support from optimism over reports in the U.S. that pointed to strength in the world’s largest economy and calmed jitters over a possible recession south of the border.

“This is the day everyone wants to be bullish, tomorrow might be different,” said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 154.92 points, or 1.14 percent, at 13,734.54 with all but one of the TSX’s 10 main sectors in positive territory.

The industrials sector rose 2.8 percent, while WestJet Airlines Ltd (WJA.TO) gained 93 Canadian cents, or 4.3 percent, to C$22.58 after it said it flew fuller planes in November.

Also in the sector, train and plane maker Bombardier (BBDb.TO) was up 35 Canadian cents, or 5.9 percent, at C$6.28.

Pow noted that investors were continuing to digest Tuesday’s interest rate cut from the Bank of Canada.

“Everyone is trying to read through it, whether it’s a political move to some extent or whether there really is deep concern,” said Pow.

“The general consensus I can see is that we’re really going to look forward to the next discussion to see what they really are feeling.”

Shares of Quebecor Inc (QBRb.TO) jumped C$1.67, or 4.5 percent, to C$39.11 after its media division said it will sweeten its bid for the minority stake in Nurun Inc NUR.TO it does not already own.

The news that Quebecor Media has struck lock-up agreements with minority shareholders in the online marketing agency helped push Nurun up 45 Canadian cents, or 10.7 percent, to C$4.66.

Consumer staples was the lone group in the negative, losing 0.04 percent.

Market volume was a hefty 500 million shares worth C$7.8 billion. Advancers outpaced decliners 952 to 686. The blue chip S&P/TSX 60 index .TSE60 closed up 9.40 points, or 1.19 percent, at 801.94.

In New York, markets rose on strong economic data after a two-day selloff. The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 196.23 points, or 1.48 percent, at 13,444.96. The Nasdaq composite index .IXIC gained 46.53 points, or 1.78 percent, to 2,666.36.

$1=$1.01 Canadian Editing by Rob Wilson

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