CANADA STOCKS-TSX pushes higher on Greek optimism

Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:10pm EST
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 * TSX up 12.09 points, or 0.11 percent, at 11,286.33
 * Talk of help for Greece helps banks pull index from loss
 * Bernanke lays out path for policy changes
 (Adds details, quote)
 TORONTO, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market
index edged higher on Wednesday as financials were helped by
hopes that a resolution to Greece's debt woes was near, but
resource stocks were pressured by volatile commodity prices.
 The heavily weighted TSX financials sector gained 1.3
percent as investors closed out short positions in expectation
of a market rally if a European Union summit in Brussels on
Thursday comes up with a deal to alleviate Greece's debt
 Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) rose 1.8 percent to C$54.75,
while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) climbed 1.3 percent to
 European debt concerns have prompted a steep sell-off in
global equity markets in recent sessions, but have reversed
this week on reports that euro zone governments will unveil an
aid plan. [ID:nLDE6192QE].
 "Certainly, the Greece debt situation is a big factor on
investors' minds... We've seen over the past few days,
investors have been swinging between optimism and pessimism as
far as that situation is concerned," said Elvis Picardo,
analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.
  The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE ended the session up 12.09 points, or 0.11 percent,
at 11,286.33. Earlier, the index fell by as much as 61.8
 Six of the 10 TSX subgroups ended higher, with weakness
focused in the energy and materials sectors, as commodities
such as gold and oil were hurt by a strengthening U.S. dollar
following comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben
 The U.S. Federal Reserve could begin pulling back its
unprecedented stimulus for the economy by first removing some
cash from the financial system and then raising interest rates,
Bernanke said on Wednesday.  [ID:nWEQ003786]
 "Bernanke is talking about beginning to reduce the
liquidity in the U.S. market," said Kate Warne, Canadian market
strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis, Missouri.
 "If you're in a world where everyone is still worrying
about Greece and the impact of the financial crisis and the
U.S. is beginning to talk about what's the next step...that
makes everyone nervous that that may be happening too soon."
 Energy issues dropped 1 percent led by oil and gas giant
Suncor Energy's (SU.TO: Quote) 1.9 percent fall to C$31.25.
 Imperial Oil (IMO.TO: Quote) dropped 1.4 percent to C$38.32, while
EnCana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote) retreated 1.2 percent to C$32.47.
 Materials stocks shed 0.6 percent, as Teck Resources
TCKb.TO fell 2 percent to C$35.54, and Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO: Quote)
retreated 2 percent to C$13.10.
 ($1=$1.06 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Cameron French; editing by Peter Galloway)