February 19, 2008 / 9:45 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 2-Toronto stocks jump on resource issues, oil price

(Updates closing numbers, adds detail)

TORONTO, Feb 19 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index soared more than 200 points on Tuesday, lifted by robust resource issues and record-setting oil prices.

Gains in gold, platinum and other commodities helped push the index higher, as the materials sector jumped 4.9 percent and the gold-producers subindex surged 6.1 percent.

Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO was up C$7.90, or 5.3 percent, at C$157.25. Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) rose C$3.80, or 6 percent, to C$67.00, while the price of gold was boosted by a weaker U.S. dollar.

In the energy sector, Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) helped lead the rally, gaining C$2.95, or 4.5 percent, to C$68.05, while Suncor Energy (SU.TO) rose C$2.73, or 2.8 percent, to C$99.59. The group as a whole, which makes up about 25 percent of the main index, added 2.1 percent.

Oil prices climbed more than 4 percent to hit a record high of $100.10 a barrel, before settling at $100.01 amid expectations of tight supplies.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 220.98 points, or 1.67 percent, at 13,447.74, with six of its 10 main groups higher.

Expectations of another interest rate cut from the Bank of Canada also buoyed the Toronto benchmark, as data showed the inflation rate slowed in January as discounts in vehicle prices offset rising gasoline costs.

On the downside, Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) slipped after it said it will take a C$490 million pretax charge in the first quarter due to troubles in the credit market. BMO finished off 3 Canadian cents, or 0.1 percent, to C$53.80 after earlier falling as low as C$52.98.

Thomson Corp TOC.TO edged up 2 Canadian cents, or 0.1 percent, to C$34.55 after regulators in Europe, the United States and Canada conditionally approved the electronic publisher’s acquisition of Reuters RTR.L.

$1=$1.02 Canadian Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Rob Wilson

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