April 24, 2009 / 2:20 PM / 10 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-Oil powers TSX to highest level since November

* TSX up 110.73 points at 9,520.23

* Hits highest level since Nov 2008

* Energy shares lead latest surge as oil prices rise (Adds details and comments)

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, April 24 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index rose to its highest level in more than five months on Friday morning and seemed to be on track for a seventh straight week of gains as a rise in oil prices lit a fire under the energy sector.

The index’s energy group led all sectors with a 2.7 percent gain as the potential for higher oil demand sent oil prices back above $51 a barrel. [ID:nSP416073]

Shares of EnCana Corp (ECA.TO), which headlined the early rally in the TSX, rose 2.8 percent to C$57.46, while Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) followed with a gain of 2.8 percent to C$60.42.

“There are enough buyers who have confidence that we have reached a bottom in the stock market and they see a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of economic news that they are willing to step in,” said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.

“Earnings have been nothing to write home about ... and companies aren’t really providing upbeat guidance, yet the market market seems to want to go higher.”

At 10:00 a.m. (1500 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 121.32 points, or 1.29 percent, at 9,530.82, which marked its highest level since last November. Eight of the index’s 10 sectors were higher.

The TSX entered the session down slightly on the week and must gain about 29 points in the session to extend its streak of gains to seven weeks.

$1=$1.21 Canadian Reporting by Frank Pingue; editing by Peter Galloway

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