June 16, 2008 / 4:22 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 2-Toronto stocks soar with surging commodities

(Updates to midday)

* TSX climbs more than 1 percent in broad-based rally

* Resources boosted by soaring commodity prices

TORONTO, June 16 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index pushed higher on Monday in a broad rally sparked by strength in resources amid red-hot commodity prices.

EnCana Corp (ECA.TO) helped boost the benchmark after it said it had established a leading position in two gas shale ventures in Canada and the United States. Shares of EnCana were up C$2.41, or 2.6 percent, at C$96.11.

Record high prices for both corn and oil set the tone early, lifting the energy and materials sectors 1 percent and 2.4 percent respectively.

Fertilizer firm Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO was among the day’s leaders by weight, gaining C$3.99, or 1.7 percent, to C$236.11, while in the oil patch, Canadian Oil Sands Trust COS_u.TO. was up C$1.49, or 2.8 percent, at C$54.23.

“Even more broadly in the Canadian market, it looks like basically everything is just moving in sympathy with the commodities,” said Paul Taylor, chief investment officer at BMO Harris Investment Management Inc.

“The question is, is this sustainable,” Taylor added

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 216.96 points, or 1.47 percent, at 14,995.42 at midday with all but one of its 10 main sectors higher.

Oil jumped to a fresh record high amid weakness in the U.S. dollar. Meanwhile, the price of corn also raced to a record in the wake of widespread flooding in the U.S. Midwest, lifting agriculture stocks.

Shares of gold producers also advanced, lifted by a jump in the price of bullion. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) was up C$1.40, or 3.5 percent, at C$41.04, and Goldcorp (G.TO) rose C$1.23, or 3.1 percent, to C$40.68, while the subindex added 2.3 percent.

The banking sector put on 1.5 percent as U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc LEH.N posted a hefty quarterly loss that matched its forecast.

Taylor said there was some relief that the loss came in as expected, which helped reduce uncertainty over how much more damage banks will sustain from the credit crunch.

On Bay Street, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) was up C$2.31, or 3.6 percent, at C$65.76, while National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) pushed up 99 Canadian cents, or 1.9 percent, at C$53.77.

The small health care sector trimmed 0.6 percent. Cardiome Pharma COM.TO slipped 20 Canadian cents, or 2 percent, to C$9.80 ($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Rob Wilson)

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