May 20, 2008 / 8:46 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 3-Toronto stocks hit new highs as oils rally

(Updates official closing numbers, adds details)

*Index closes above 15,000 for first time

*Supported by shares in energy and gold producers

*Shares of BCE Inc fall amid concerns over its buyout

TORONTO, May 20 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index finished above 15,000 for the first time on Tuesday, propelled higher by a surge in energy and gold producers amid a continuing run-up in oil prices.

Oil and gas companies were among the biggest advancers by weight with Suncor Energy (SU.TO) up C$4.84, or 7.2 percent, at C$72.37, and Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) climbing C$4.27, or 7.5 percent, to C$60.95.

The sector overall bounded up 3.1 percent, while oil, a key underlying commodity for the resource-heavy TSX, extended its red-hot advance, coming close to $130 a barrel. Crude was lifted by bullish price forecasts and growing worries over tight global stockpiles.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 63.14 points, or 0.42 percent, at 15,047.34. The energy and materials sectors were the sole groups to end positive.

Since the beginning of May, the index has spiked more than 1,000 points, setting record highs after surpassing the previous record that was hit last July.

The gold producers subindex lent support to the benchmark as bullion prices also strengthened. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) rose C$1.70, or 4.2 percent, to C$41.88, and Goldcorp (G.TO) gained C$1.34, or 3.2 percent, to C$42.65. The group overall was up 2.7 percent.

Shares of BCE Inc (BCE.TO) lost C$1.42, or 3.7 percent, to C$37.40 in the wake of reports that the banks behind its C$34.8 billion buyout had submitted new financing terms to the buyout group. The deal has been dogged by concerns that it will not be successful.

Also on the downside, the financial sector gave up 1.2 percent, with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) down C$1.71, or 2.3 percent, at C$73.41, and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) off C$1.00, or 2 percent, to C$48.97. ($1=$0.99 Canadian) (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Peter Galloway)

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