July 18, 2008 / 3:25 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-Toronto stock index gets lift from oil price

(Adds details)

* Firmer oil price boosts oil and gas issues

* Financials extend two-day winning streak

* Techs slump as Microsoft, Google disappoint

TORONTO, July 18 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index was up more than 100 points on Friday morning, as a rise in oil prices boosted energy issues and healthy U.S. bank results added momentum to financials’ run-up.

The price of crude rebounded $1.61 to $130.90 a barrel after shedding around $15 in the past three sessions amid concerns over demand.

Oil’s steady ascent helped lift a TSX energy sector that has been largely oversold, said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities Ltd.

“They’ve been beaten up pretty badly with the fall in oil,” said Kinsey. “Some of them are considerably down from their highs. Looks like they’re going to have a rebound today from that oversold position.”

The energy group was ahead 2.1 percent, with EnCana Corp (ECA.TO), up C$2.48, or 3.2 percent, at C$80.48, while Bonavista Energy BNP_u.TO was up 92 Canadian cents, or 2.9 percent, to C$32.50.

By midmorning, the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 105.77 points, or 0.8 percent, at 13,566.02, with nine of its 10 main sectors higher.

Financials added 1 percent, extending a two-day run, as better than expected results from Citigroup Inc (C.N), the No. 1 U.S. bank, buoyed the sector.

CIBC (CM.TO) rose 55 Canadian cents, or 1 percent, to C$57.65, while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) climbed 27 Canadian cents, or 0.5 percent, to C$58.63.

On the downside, technology shares slipped 1.2 percent amid disappointing results from bellwethers Google (GOOG.O) and Microsoft (MSFT.O). Shares of Research in Motion RIM.TO were down C$3.21, or 2.9 percent, at C$108.37.

Materials edged up 0.1 percent despite a fall in the price of gold to below $960 an ounce. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) shed 21 Canadian cents, or 0.4 percent, to C$47.70.

Elsewhere, shares of MDS Inc MDS.TO were up 15 Canadian cents, or 1 percent, at C$14.74 after the medical services company said it expects to record charges totaling $28 million, mostly in the third quarter, as it cuts 210 employees and records an asset impairment charge related to its MDS Pharma Services unit. ($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Rob Wilson)

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