* TSX up 25.63 points at 13,664.21
* Commodity shares turn positive after Japan quake
* Canada jobs data weaker than expected (Updates with details, comments)
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, March 11 (Reuters) - Toronto’s resource-heavy stock index steadied after early volatility on Friday morning as investors bought beaten-down stocks and the market regrouped after an initial selloff in reaction to the huge earthquake in Japan.
Ater four straight days of losses, the index bounced back as oil, gold and base-metal prices recouped some losses and bargain-hunters jumped into hard-hit commodity producers.
The energy sector was up 0.1 percent, while gold and base metal miners also reversed earlier declines, sending the index’s heavyweight materials group up 1.2 percent.
“There’s obviously going to be some sort of rebuilding effort (in Japan). At the margin, it’s going to be more demand for basic materials,” said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier, noting that forest-products producers were all up sharply following the Japan quake.
At 11:20 a.m. (1620 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 25.63 points, or 0.19 percent, at 13,664.21. Six of the index’s 10 main sectors were weaker, with financials down 0.2 percent on softer than expected Canadian jobs data for February, which also sent the Canadian currency lower. [ID:nN11228750]
Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) was down 0.3 percent at C$61.47, while Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) slid 0.5 percent to C$57.50.
Among the lead gainers, Teck Resources TCKb.TO rallied 2.3 percent to C$50.79, and Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) advanced 1.3 percent to C$49.78.
“Bargain-hunters are coming in ... part of it has to do with that we’ve been down pretty sharply yesterday and the past few days. (They‘re) looking for some sort of rebound,” Nakamoto said.
($1=$0.98 Canadian) (Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Rob Wilson)