April 25, 2008 / 2:43 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks lose momentum but still higher

(Adds details, analyst)

TORONTO, April 25 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index pared most of its early gains on Friday morning, but remained higher as hot commodities enticed investors back into recently depressed resource sectors.

Energy stocks, which represent the largest group on the index, rebounded sharply as futures prices for crude oil and natural gas advanced.

TransCanada Corp (TRP.TO) climbed 0.7 percent after the pipeline company reported a 69 percent rise in quarterly profit, adding to a relatively benign mood that has developed over first-quarter results. For details, see: [nN24313525]

Overall, the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 36.46 points, or 0.3 percent, at 14,002.79.

The index climbed more than 130 points immediately after the market opened, but enthusiasm started to drain from the materials and financial sectors.

“Commodities have had a very, very long boom ... and we have doubts the rally can continue in the next few months,” said Pierre Lapointe, assistant strategist and quantitative analyst at National Bank of Canada, in Montreal.

Half of the TSX’s 10 main groups were on positive ground, including a 1.4 percent rise in energy shares and a 0.6 percent rise in the consumer discretionary sector.

In the energy sector, Suncor Energy (SU.TO) added C$2.64 to C$116.92, while Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) was up C$1.28 at C$84.53.

Teck Cominco TCKb.TO, the major producer of copper and zinc, dropped C$1.30 to C$45.88. In the technology sector, Research In Motion RIM.TO fell C$2.45 to C$123.25.

Elsewhere, biopharmaceutical company QLT Inc QLT.TO was off 12 Canadian cents at C$3.90 after it swung to a loss in the latest quarter. For details, see: [nN25261655]

The TSX’s early momentum may also have been tempered by a downturn in U.S. stocks, which were hurt by an unexpectedly weak April reading of consumer sentiment data.

$1=$1.02 Canadian Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Peter Galloway

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