February 11, 2008 / 9:45 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 3-Toronto stocks propelled higher by resources

(Updates numbers, adds details, quotes)

TORONTO, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Robust resource shares, buoyed by climbing oil and gold prices, pushed the Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index higher on Monday.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up for the third day in a row, gaining 141.58 points, or 1.09 percent, to 13,130.92 with seven of its 10 main groups on the upside.

The energy and materials sectors, which combined make up about 40 percent of the index, added 2 percent and 1.8 percent respectively as oil and gold prices advanced.

EnCana Corp (ECA.TO) rose C$2.44 or 3.6 percent, to C$69.69, and Suncor Energy (SU.TO) was up C$2.00, or 2.1 percent, at C$96.79, as oil jumped to $93.59 a barrel after Venezuela threatened to halt crude sales to the United States.

Also in the oil patch, shares of Oilexco Inc OIL.TO soared after the company said it is considering speeding up development of its Huntington oil field in the North Sea. Oilexco, an oil explorer that concentrates its activities in the North Sea, rose C$2.36, or 18.5 percent, to C$15.12.

In the resource-laden materials sector, fertilizer producer Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO was up C$6.85, or 5 percent, at C$144.27, and Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) gained C$1.12, or 1.8 percent, to C$64.57.

“Energy and mining look pretty good for us,” said Brian Pow, vice president, research and equity analyst at Acumen Capital Partners, in Calgary.

“We’ve seen some pickup in commodity prices, there’s some global chit-chat out of Venezuela, for example, which probably helped the oil price a bit.”

The tech sector saw gains after a Wall Street Journal report that Nortel Networks Corp NT.TO and Motorola Inc MOT.N are in talks to combine their wireless infrastructure units.

The sector rose 2.3 percent, but Nortel finished the day off 10 Canadian cents, or 0.9 percent, to C$10.94. Both companies declined to comment on the report.

Elsewhere in the tech sector, Research In Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry, was up C$4.73, or 5.3 percent, to C$94.62.

Yahoo Inc’s YHOO.O rejection of Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.O) unsolicited takeover offer also helped put interest in the tech sector, as it may force Microsoft to make a higher bid.

On the downside, the consumer staples sector lost 0.7 percent, while Saputo Inc (SAP.TO) was down 68 Canadian cents, or 2.5 percent, at C$27.04.

$1=$1.00 Canadian Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Peter Galloway

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