(Updates to midmorning)
*TSX stronger as energy shares lifted by record oil
*BCE slips after report says buyout could be delayed
*Volume light ahead of Tuesday’s market holiday
TORONTO, June 30 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index climbed on Monday morning as a record high oil price pulled up energy shares, and other resource shares also strengthened.
The energy sector led the way up, gaining 1.6 percent as crude oil rose to a new high above $143 a barrel amid fears of conflict between Iran and Israel over Iran’s nuclear program.
On the downside, shares of BCE Inc BCE.TO gave up C$1.20, or 3.3 percent, to C$35.56 after a newspaper report that said its buyout could be delayed until the end of the year. BCE has said it aims to close the deal in the third quarter.
“Obviously the market is reacting to concern that the deal just won’t get done, but presumably that will yo-yo on a daily basis with press reports on the progress there,” said Paul Taylor, chief investment officer at BMO Harris Investment Management Inc.
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 64.33 points, or 0.45 percent, at 14,419.54 with half of its 10 main sectors pushing higher.
The materials sector gained 1 percent, helped by advances in fertilizer and gold-producing companies. Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO rose C$3.59, or 1.6 percent, to C$233.85, while Goldcorp G.TO was up 62 Canadian cents, or 1.3 percent, at C$47.52.
The banking sector drooped 0.7 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO off 65 Canadian cents, or 1.4 percent, at C$45.37, and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce CM.TO easing 54 Canadian cents, or 0.9 percent, to C$57.70.
Financials have been hard hit by the fallout from the credit crunch and have been plagued by worries of more writedowns and losses to come at U.S. financial services companies.
“(There‘s) still continued concern about when the next shoe to drop will occur,” Taylor said.
Volume was expected to be light for the day, ahead of Tuesday’s Canada Day holiday. ($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Peter Galloway)