July 30, 2008 / 3:36 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks higher on oil, financials

(Adds details)

*Energy shares rise with oil prices

*Financials get boost from U.S. Fed news

*WestJet flies higher on quarterly results

TORONTO, July 30 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index was 200 points higher on Wednesday morning as energy shares rose along with oil prices and heavily-weighted financial-services shares were up on easing concerns about the credit crunch.

The energy sector was up 2.9 percent as oil prices rose on a U.S. report that showed gas supplies fell sharply last week. Canadian Oil Sands Trust COS_u.TO rose C$1.99, or 4.1 percent, to C$51.05, after the company said it swung to a profit in the second quarter due to record high oil prices.

Financial services rose 0.9 percent as the market digested news that the U.S. Federal Reserve would extend a measure to boost liquidity in financial markets. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) was up C$1.08, or 2.4 percent, at C$46.66.

Also boosting sentiment was a report that showed U.S. private employers unexpectedly added jobs in July, said Bob Gorman, chief portfolio strategist at TD Waterhouse.

“When you’ve been in a period characterized by extraordinary negative investor sentiment some cracks in the cloud seem like awfully good news,” he said.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 203.35 points, or 1.5 percent, at 13,545.90, with all of its 10 main subgroups higher.

Industrials got a boost, up 3 percent, as shares of WestJet Airlines Ltd (WJA.TO) rose 52 Canadian cents, or 3.5 percent, to C$15.50 after Canada’s second-largest airline said its quarterly profit nearly tripled from the year-before quarter.

The miner-heavy materials group rose 1.2 percent despite a drop in the price of bullion.

Great-West LifeCo Inc (GWO.TO) was up 85 Canadian cents, or 2.9 percent, at C$29.76, and could draw attention later on Wednesday when it reports its quarterly results. The results could provide clues on the health of Canadian life insurers in the face of problems in the U.S. financial system. ($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Peter Galloway)

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