April 21, 2008 / 8:42 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 2-Soaring oil prices push Toronto stocks higher

(Updates official closing numbers, adds detail)

TORONTO, April 21 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index pushed higher for the sixth session in a row on Monday, propelled by robust energy shares as the price of oil hit yet another record high.

The oil and gas group climbed 1.7 percent as oil prices surged to over $117 a barrel. Suncor Energy (SU.TO) rose C$2.87, or 2.5 percent, to C$119.51, while Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) jumped C$2.98, or 3.5 percent, to C$88.15.

U.S. crude settled up 79 cents at $117.48 a barrel, boosted by supply worries as rebels cut Nigerian supplies and a Scottish refinery strike threatened North Sea production.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 84.10 points, or 0.59 percent, at 14,321.16 with all but two of its 10 main sectors higher.

Fertilizer companies Agrium AGU.TO and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO also helped lift the benchmark, adding to their recent sharp gains. Agrium jumped C$4.39, or 5 percent, to C$92.70, and Potash Corp rose C$5.40, or 2.6 percent, to C$211.10.

But the broader materials sector edged up just 0.02 percent as shares of gold producers slid 1.8 percent. Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) was down C$1.76, or 2.4 percent, at C$70.71, and Kinross Gold (K.TO) gave up 98 Canadian cents, or 4.1 percent, at C$22.87.

Eldorado Gold Corp (ELD.TO) slipped 22 Canadian cents, or 3 percent, to C$7.16 after Frontier Pacific Mining Corp FRP.V rejected its C$148.2 million takeover bid, saying the offer was inadequate.

Frontier Pacific closed up 19 Canadian cents, or 27.1 percent, at 89 Canadian cents on the TSX Venture Exchange.

Loblaw (L.TO) weighed to the downside, shedding C$1.96, or 6.2 percent, to C$29.77, after Canada’s biggest grocer shuffled its executive suite, as it announced its president and chief financial officer were leaving.

Shares of George Weston (WN.TO), which controls Loblaw, were down C$2.41, or 4.9 percent, at C$47.30. The consumer staples sector was down 2.1 percent.

$1=$1.01 Canadian Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Rob Wilson

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