* TSX up 223.24 points, or 2.01 percent, at 11,317.55
* Biggest one-day percent gain since early December
* Growth in U.S. manufacturing sector helps spur rise (Adds official closing figures)
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock market index rose sharply on Monday, starting February on a solid footing as U.S. manufacturing data helped fuel optimism about economic recovery.
Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO) led all heavyweight gainers, climbing 3.2 percent to C$34.84, while Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) rose 4.5 percent to C$38.80. Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc (POT.TO) rose 3.9 percent to C$110.07, and Goldcorp (G.TO) was up 4.1 percent at C$37.71.
The index rose as U.S. factory data provided further evidence of economic recovery. The U.S. manufacturing sector grew more than expected in January, and added to strong factory figures from China, Australia and the euro zone. [ID:nWEN9407] [ID:nLDE6100W3]
“We’ve got off to a good start on the back of manufacturing report from three major regions that showed the global recovery is pretty well positioned. That’s really helped the big turnaround in sentiment today,” said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished the day up 223.24 points, or 2.01 percent, at 11,317.55, its biggest one-day percentage gain since Dec. 1. All of its 10 main groups were higher.
The manufacturing data helped to lift the price of oil, which rose above $74 a barrel. [O/R] The price of gold was also higher. [GOL/]
The strength in commodity prices helped to give Toronto stocks a bigger boost than U.S. stocks, which also got a boost from the manufacturing figures and from Exxon Mobil earnings. [.N]
Toronto’s energy sector .SPTTEN climbed 2.5 percent, while its mining-heavy materials group .GSPTTMT gained 4.85 percent.
The blue chip S&P/TSX 60 index .TSE60 closed 13.06 points, or 2.01 percent, higher at 661.59.
($1=$1.06 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway)