CANADA STOCKS-TSX gains steam on EU pledge to aid Greece

Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:49pm EST
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* TSX up 83.56 points, or 0.74 percent, at 11,369.89

* Greece rescue plan helps lift investor confidence

* Manulife, Sun Life fall after disappointing results (Adds details, quotes)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index climbed on Thursday as a financial rescue plan for Greece helped lift market confidence and commodity prices.

Topping the list of big gainers were Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote), up 2.4 percent to C$38.80, and Teck Resources TCKb.TO, which edged 5.6 percent higher to C$37.52. Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO: Quote) was up 2.8 percent at C$115.54.

A pledge by European leaders to provide financial aid to Greece helped to boost prices of oil and metals [O/R] [GOL/] [MET/L], and the Canadian dollar was also comfortably higher against the U.S. dollar on increased investor risk tolerance. [ID:nLDE61A0W2] [CAD/]

"You're getting some form of backstop for Greece. That was the key thing that everyone is looking at," said John Johnston, chief strategist for Harbour Group at RBC Dominion Securities.

Johnston noted there was some underlying disappointment, given the lack of details, but the European Union essentially pledged to provide support for Greece if needed.   Continued...