CANADA STOCKS-TSX moves higher on commodities, financials

Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:05am EDT
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* TSX up 0.87 percent at 8,080.92

* Financials, up 1.6 percent, lead TSX higher

* Energy issues up 1.1 percent as crude rises (Adds details, quotes)

TORONTO, March 12 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose on Thursday morning, boosted by strength in commodity issues thanks to higher underlying prices, while financials extended gains from the previous two sessions on hopes the worst of the banking crisis may be easing.

Gold miners were among the biggest contributors to moving the market higher as the materials sector rose 1 percent, boosted by a higher bullion price. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) was up 4.2 percent at C$36.84, while Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) rose 2.7 percent to C$36.98.

Energy issues rose 1.1 percent as oil climbed back above $43 a barrel after sliding in the previous session. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) rose 2.3 percent at C$45.88.

Financials were up 1.6 percent with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) ahead 1.6 percent at C$34.12.

Investor sentiment was buoyed by U.S. data that showed only a slight easing in retail sales last month, suggesting that consumer spending was stabilizing. [ID:nN12352975]

"That's fairly positive," Francis Campeau, a broker at MF Global Canada in Montreal, said of the retail sales data.   Continued...