February 7, 2008 / 9:43 PM / in 10 years

UPDATE 3-Toronto stocks boosted by resources, financials

(Updates numbers, adds details, quotes)

TORONTO, Feb 7 (Reuters) - After a see-saw session, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index ended higher on Thursday, with gains in resource and banking shares tempered by worries over the state of the U.S. economy.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 58.17 points, or 0.45 percent, at 12,925.37, the first time in three days it has ended higher. All but two of its 10 main groups were in positive territory with modest gains.

In a volatile session, the index managed to come back from early losses, which had been sparked by more concerns over a slowdown in the U.S. economy amid bad news from Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O) and Wal-Mart Stores (WMT.N).

But investor uncertainty kept the Toronto benchmark from making large gains even though key commodity prices moved higher.

The energy and materials sectors rose 0.8 percent and 0.4 percent respectively as oil and gold prices climbed. Suncor Energy (SU.TO) rose C$1.25, or 1.4 percent, to C$93.05, while Teck Cominco TCKb.TO was up C$1.19, or 3.6 percent, at C$34.67.

NovaGold Resources Inc (NG.TO) rose 4 Canadian cents, or 0.4 percent, to C$11.09 after it raised the resource levels for its Donlin Creek gold development in Alaska, and said it was hoping to expand the project.

The financials group, the biggest group in the index, moved up 0.8 percent, as investors scooped up bargains in the sector, which has been battered by continued fallout from the slump in the U.S. housing market.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) rose C$1.17, or 2.3 percent, to C$51.29, and Toronto-Dominion Bank added 62 Canadian cents, or 0.9 percent, to C$67.30.

On the earnings front, Canadian Tire Corp’s (CTC.TO) (CTCa.TO) more actively traded class A shares were down 78 Canadian cents, or 1.2 percent, at C$62.82 after the retailer said fourth-quarter profit rose but warned earnings gains will be “tempered” by big investments.

Grocer Loblaw Cos Ltd (L.TO) dipped 7 Canadian cents, or 0.2 percent, to C$30.73 after it said fourth-quarter adjusted profit fell nearly 16 percent as it cut prices to hold on to customers.

$1=$1.01 Canadian Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Peter Galloway

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