(Adds comments, details, updates with official figures)
By Wojtek Dabrowski
TORONTO, June 30 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index finished more than 100 points higher on Monday as record oil prices bolstered resources and energy shares, offsetting a weak showing by financial services on persistent concerns about the credit crunch.
U.S. crude charged to a new high of $143.67 before settling lower, providing renewed fuel for the shares of Canada’s energy companies.
“That seems to be the culprit today for sure,” Adrian Mastracci, portfolio manager at KCM Wealth Management Inc, said of the price of crude.
“There’s not a lot of excess supply, so if anything goes offline even temporarily — bingo,” he said, adding speculators also help drive prices higher.
Overall, five of the 10 main sectors of the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE recorded gains in the session, including energy and the resource-heavy materials group, which added 1.75 percent and 1.76 percent respectively.
“The gold and silver sector has been quite strong the last few days and to see it carry on into today and into the next month certainly wouldn’t surprise me,” said Bruce Latimer, a trader at Dundee Securities.
Financials gave up 0.45 percent as concerns over the credit crunch and the health of the economy lingered.
The S&P/TSX composite index rose 112.23 points, or 0.78 percent, to close at 14,467.44. At the half-way mark of 2008, the benchmark is up 4.6 percent.
Trading volumes were light ahead of Tuesday’s Canada Day holiday. (Reporting by Wojtek Dabrowski; Editing by Peter Galloway)