CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits 18-month high on Greece, commodities

Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:57am EDT
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*TSX up 0.1 percent to 12,192.61

*Banks, commodities lead index higher

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, April 12 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index edged up to an 18-month high on Monday as commodity prices rallied and a financial aid deal to prop up debt-stricken Greece boosted market appetite for risk.

Shortly after the open, the index hit 12,214.39, its highest level since September 2008.

The heavily weighted financial sector gained 0.3 percent. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote), the country's No. 2 lender, rose 0.5 percent to C$74.51, while Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) jumped 0.8 percent to C$50.81.

Euro zone finance ministers agreed on a 30 billion euro ($40.5 billion) rescue package for Greece, prompting market bullishness, but subsequent cautionary comments from the German finance ministry spurred some investor skepticism. [ID:nLDE63B0NP]

"There was a stellar initial reaction, which was overnight our time, but it faded all morning and we're gaining back with oil and different commodities," said Francis Campeau, a broker at MF Global Canada in Montreal.

Gold was near a four-month peak and copper hit 20-month highs, boosting the materials sector 0.4 percent. [GOL/] [MET/L]   Continued...