November 18, 2008 / 3:49 PM / 10 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-Toronto index higher on commodities

* Energy group gains as oil edges above $55 a barrel

* TransCanada is biggest net loss leader, down 5 percent

TORONTO, Nov 18 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index rose more than 1 percent on Tuesday morning as the influential, and recently battered, oil and gas sector gained along with a firmer price of oil.

The energy group climbed 1.44 percent as crude edged above $55 a barrel, after bouncing off another near-22 month low. [ID:nN181474]

The heavily weighted materials and financial groups were also higher, helping keep the overall index in positive territory after it briefly turned negative.

Shortly after 10:40 a.m. (1540 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 90.91 points, or 1.03 percent, at 8,886.36, with seven of its 10 main groups modestly higher.

TransCanada Corp (TRP.TO) was the biggest net loss leader, down 5 percent at C$32.80. The country’s biggest pipeline operator said on Monday it plans to issue up to C$1.16 billion of stock to fund major projects like the Keystone oil pipeline, marking its second billion-dollar offering in half a year. [ID:nN17524623] (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson)

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