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* S&P/TSX composite up 0.46 pct at 12,010.47
* Commodity-linked shares lead TSX higher
* Index highest level since September 2008
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By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock exchange climbed above 12,000 for the first time since September 2008, as rising commodity prices powered energy and gold issues in the resource-heavy index.
Shares of Teck Resources Ltd TCKb.TO, the biggest contributor to the index's gains, rose 1.9 percent to C$42.60, while Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO) followed with a 1.43 percent rise at C$43.35.
"There's a little move on commodities because the U.S. dollar has been weak, which has created a lot of this improvement in the marketplace," said Irwin Michael, a portfolio manager at ABC Funds.
Oil prices rose 1 percent, hitting a fresh 15-month high near $84 a barrel, supported by data showing China's crude oil imports surged by nearly 25 percent in December and as the dollar weakened. [O/R]
Similarly, gold prices were up 2 percent to a five-week high of $1,161.50, also benefiting from weakness in the dollar as traders bet on U.S. interest rates staying low in the immediate future. [GOL/]
At 10:15 a.m., (1515 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 55.51 points or 0.46 percent at 12,010.47. The index rose as high as 12,070.74.
While the TSX pierced the 12,000 level, Michael warned investors to not read too much into that milestone.
"The market is still very thin, people are still very edgy," he added, referring to many traders' expectations that the market is still due for a correction after the Christmas rally. ($1=$1.03 Canadian) (Reporting by Claire Sibonney; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)