February 26, 2008 / 9:47 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 3-Oils, financials help push Toronto stocks higher

(Updates with official closing numbers, adds details, quotes)

TORONTO, Feb 26 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index pushed higher for a third day in a row on Tuesday, propelled by strong financials and rising energy shares as oil hit a record high settlement.

The oil and energy group, which accounts for about 25 percent of the index, climbed 1.4 percent as crude jumped amid a weak U.S. dollar. Oil reached a record settlement price of$100.88 a barrel, up $1.65 to .

Canadian Oil Sands Trust COS_u.TO rose C$1.54, or 3.8 percent, to C$41.80 and Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) gained 93 Canadian cents, or 1.7 percent, to C$55.60.

The heavyweight financial sector also helped the advance, adding 1.5 percent. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) was up C$2.09, or 3.1 percent, at C$70.19 while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) gain 77 Canadian cents, or 1.2 percent, to C$67.81.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 99.56 points, or 0.73 percent, at 13,797.01 with seven of its 10 main groups in positive territory.

“I think there is (enthusiasm), but I think, as investors, we have to be cautions,” said Adrian Mastracci, portfolio manager and president at KCM Wealth Management Inc in Vancouver.

“We haven’t fixed the underlying difficulties, the foundations still have some cracks in them — we just choose to ignore the fact that they have cracks at the moment,” Mastracci said.

The Toronto benchmark had earlier been pressured by the release of more negative U.S. economic data, including a jump in producer prices in January.

Private-label soft drink maker Cott Corp (BCB.TO) weighed to the downside, sliding C$1.50, or 37.5 percent, to C$2.50 after key customer Wal-Mart (WMT.N) gave notice it would cut U.S. shelf space for the company’s drinks.

Cott helped pull the consumer staples sector lower by 1 percent. Elsewhere in the sector, Shoppers Drug Mart SC.TO lost C$1.34, or 2.6 percent, to C$50.16.

Also retreating was BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, which fell C$2.65, or 2.4 percent, to C$105.80. The tech sector edged up 0.03 percent.

$1=$0.98 Canadian Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Rob Wilson

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