* TSX up 20.08 points, or 0.15 percent, at 13,811.93
* Seven of the 10 main groups finish higher
(Adds details, comments)
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, Feb 7 Toronto's main stock index
closed modestly higher on Monday as financial shares gained on
increased confidence in economic recovery, but energy shares
dropped as oil prices eased.
Among financial shares, Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) was up
1.65 percent at C$19.15, while Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) rose
1.02 percent to C$59.50, and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO)
advanced 0.53 percent to C$58.60.
The financials group, which makes up nearly 30 percent of
the index, rose 0.38 percent, its fifth rise in the past six
"It seems the financial side of the equation is continuing
on its recent strength. It's driven on global positive
sentiment... worldwide positive growth," said Francis Campeau,
a broker at MF Global Canada.
Data in January showed signs that the economic recovery was
gathering steam, particularly in the United States, which has
encouraged stock markets higher. In New York, the S&P 500 and
the Dow Jones industrial average both hit 2-1/2 year highs on
The Toronto Stock Exchange S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE rose 20.08 points, or 0.15 percent, to finish the day
Seven of the index's 10 main groups finished higher.
Technology stocks gained 0.7 percent. Other gainers included
the materials group, home to mining companies, which was up
Fertilizer giants Potash Corp (POT.TO) and Agrium Inc
(AGU.TO) both helped pull the materials group higher. Potash
was the biggest blue chip gainer, rising 1.51 percent to
C$181.87. Agrium, which will report quarterly earnings on
Wednesday, rose 2.22 percent to C$92.51.
Oil and gas stocks dropped 0.3 percent.
Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) fell 1.35 percent to C$44.58, while
Suncor Energy (SU.TO) slipped 0.54 percent to C$40.39.
Crude prices fell as concerns eased over Egypt's political
crisis and how it might affect oil flows in the Middle East.
Rising U.S. inventories also weighed. [O/R]
"Turbulance fading off in Egypt and warmer weather expected
is bringing both oil and natgas prices down," Campeau said.
(Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Peter Galloway)