March 8, 2012 / 9:39 PM / 5 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-Greece hopes lift TSX to biggest gain in 2 weeks

2 Min Read

* TSX ends up 111.77 points, or 0.91 pct, at 12,461.93

* Eight of 10 sectors stronger

* BoC holds rates, outlook brightens

* Greece moves closer to finalizing bond swap

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, March 8 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index closed sharply higher on Thursday, posting its biggest gain in more than two weeks as financial and resource issues climbed on signs that Greece would finalize a private debt swap and avoid a chaotic default.

Greece pushed through a bond swap offer to private creditors after clearing the minimum 75 percent threshold of acceptance, moving closer to securing the 130 billion euro bailout fund it needs to avert a default.

Expectations of a solid U.S. employment report for February on Friday also fueled appetite for oil and other growth-sensitive commodities, spurring rises in economically sensitive sectors on the Toronto index. The energy group was up 1 percent and financials were up 1.2 percent.

"Evidently the risk-on trade is back on again," said Gavin Graham, president at Graham Investment Strategy.

He noted that a more hawkish-sounding statement from Bank of Canada on Thursday may have also helped give resource and bank shares a bump.

The Toronto Stock ended up 111.77 points, or 0.91 percent, at 12,461.93. Eight of its 10 main groups were stronger.

The biggest heavyweight gainers were Royal Bank of Canada up 2 percent at C$56.93, Toronto-Dominion Bank up 1.7 percent to C$81.70, and Cenovus Energy, which jumped 3.4 percent to C$37.89.

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