March 7, 2012 / 5:58 PM / in 6 years

CANADA STOCKS-US jobs data helps TSX shake off Tuesday's rout

* TSX up 12.58 points, or 0.1 pct, at 12,311.21

* 6 of index’s 10 main sectors higher

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, March 7 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock was higher at midday on Wednesday after starting the day off on a weak footing, boosted by data that showed the U.S. private sector added more jobs than expected last month.

Big-name leaders included oil companies Suncor Energy , up 1.8 percent at C$33.92, and Cenovus, up 1.1 percent at C$36.24, both of which rose with the price of oil after the U.S. data and after China said it would boost energy imports this year.

Also in the index’s oil and gas group, which climbed 0.7 percent, Talisman Energy gained 2 percent to C$13.25, while Nexen added 1.5 percent at C$19.52.

Stock markets around the world drew support from figures that showed the pace of job creation by U.S. private employers accelerated in February. The private sector added 216,000 jobs, topping economists’ expectations for a gain of 208,000.

The United States and Canada release full February employment reports on Friday.

“The (U.S. private-sector) jobs number was right on the button so there’s lots of anticipation for a good jobs number on Friday,” said Barry Schwartz, portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services

Around 12:25 p.m. (1725 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was 12.58 points, or 0.1 percent, higher at 12,311.21, with six of its 10 main sectors rising.

The index skidded 1.8 percent on Tuesday, suffering its worst selloff this year, hurt by fears of recession in Europe and the lowest annual growth outlook in China in eight years.

Markets have also been nervously awaiting the outcome of a Greek debt restructuring deal this week.

“Canadian investors are on pins and needles, battered and bruised from yesterday’s atrocious beating,” Schwartz said.

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