CANADA STOCKS-TSX rallies with commodities after 3-day dive

Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:48am EDT
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*TSX up 129.61 points at 13,654.43

*Eight of index's 10 sectors stronger

*Oil, copper, gold all firmer (Updates with details, quotes)

TORONTO, March 17 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index jumped sharply higher on Thursday morning, buoyed by firmer commodities after falling for three straight sessions, but Japan's nuclear crisis and clashes in the Middle East kept volumes thin.

The index's three big sectors all rose. Energy was up 1.9 percent, materials up 1.2 percent, and financials 0.3 percent higher.

The powerhouse energy sector showed the strongest gains as as the price of crude rose by more than $3 as tensions in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain fueled fears of further supply disruption at the same time as investors weighed the impact of energy demand from quake-hit Japan. [O/R]

Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) jumped 2 percent to C$42.88, and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) rose 1.7 percent to C$46.71.

Developments at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant remained a main source of worry. Japanese military helicopters dumped water on a reactor and a water cannon was also used to douse an overheating reactor but radiation levels at the plant remained high. [ID:nL3E7EH18S]

"This is probably a faded rally ... It's trading off the reactor cooling down and there's a feeling it's kind of under control so that's what gave the market a bid but the rally is still tenuous," said Paul Gardner, partner and portfolio manager at Avenue Investment Management.   Continued...