May 29, 2008 / 3:20 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks trim losses as oil price rebounds

(Updates with details, analyst comments)

*TSX recovers some losses as oil rebounds

*Other commodities drag on miners

*Banks rise on RBC, but CIBC tumbles

By Jonathan Spicer

TORONTO, May 29 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index regained some early losses on Thursday as the price of oil turned around and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) led financials higher, but soft mining issues kept the index in the red.

Among the banks reporting quarterly earnings, Royal Bank and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) rose while Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) stumbled.

But much like the previous session, resources stole the show. Energy stocks recovered much of their early losses because data showed U.S. crude stockpiles unexpectedly dropped last week, lifting the price of oil above $131 a barrel.

Still, natural gas, gold and copper all tumbled, complicating the picture for TSX resource issues, which account for nearly half the index.

“We’re being pulled hither and yon by the underlying volatility of the commodity complex,” said Rick Hutcheon, president and chief operating officer at RKH Investments.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE briefly jumped into positive territory, but was down 26.33 points, or 0.2 percent, at 14,662.29 by late morning. Shortly after trading began, it dropped 99 points.

The energy sector lost 1.6 percent and the materials sector gave up 1.7 percent.

Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), the world’s biggest gold producer, fell C$1.31 to C$39.04 as the price of spot gold plunged more than $20 an ounce.

The TSX gold subsector was off 3.1 percent while a measure of Canadian miners fell 1.5 percent.

Suncor Energy (SU.TO) was the worst-performing energy stock, off 81 Canadian cents at C$68.08 as crude futures were flat.

The financial sector rose 0.9 percent. It would have climbed more if not for CIBC, which fell 94 Canadian cents to C$69.91 after it posted a big quarterly loss and took additional charges. See: [nN29456041]

Royal Bank jumped 89 Canadian cents to C$50.35 after it reported a profit drop on the back of widely expected writedowns. See: [nN29370316]

“The numbers from the banks really haven’t been that bad, compared to the performance of the American banks,” said Hutcheon. “These guys have gone through hell and they’ve managed it pretty well.”

$1=$0.99 Canadian Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; editing by Rob Wilson

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