CANADA STOCKS-Commodities help TSX rebound from 3-day slide

Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:43pm EDT
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* TSX soars 221.33 points to 13,746.15

* Eight of index's 10 sectors stronger

* Oil, copper, gold all firmer (Updates to close, adds details, quotes)

TORONTO, March 17 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index snapped a three-day slide on Thursday, ending sharply higher on rising prices for oil and other commodities, though Japan's nuclear crisis and clashes in the Middle East kept investors uncertain about the near-term outlook.

The powerhouse energy sector surged almost 4 percent as the price of crude shot up by roughly the same amount on fears of further geopolitical turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa. [O/R] [ID:nL3E7EH0EX]

Suncor Energy SU.TO jumped 4.5 percent to C$43.96, and Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO rallied almost 5 percent to C$48.23.

Japanese engineers worked through the night to restore a power cable to a crippled nuclear power plant in the hope of restarting pumps desperately needed to pour cold water on overheating fuel rods and avert a catastrophe. [ID:nL3E7EH2SM]

"We're waiting for the headlines out of Japan to be less bad and that's exactly what we're getting," said Barry Schwartz, vice-president and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.

"I wouldn't say they're positive, but at least encouraging headlines ... it's just a relief rally."   Continued...