CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits 3-week high on European optimism
*TSX ends up 154.41 points, or 1.3 percent, at 12,029.96
*Nine out of 10 sectors end higher (Adds details, comments)
By Ashleigh Patterson
TORONTO, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose more than 1 percent on Wednesday to its highest close in more than three weeks as hopes spread that Europe would find a solution to its financial crisis.
Among the top gainers, Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) rose 2.63 percent to C$29.61 as Brent crude oil rallied for a sixth straight session, helped up by optimism over the euro-zone debt crisis .[O/R] Fellow oil company Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) rose 2.66 percent to C$32.04, up 2.66 percent.
"I think those are some of the stocks that got hit hard in the last three or four weeks. It was a source of liquidity when the market was selling off and now people are seeing them as sources of value," said Bruce Latimer, trader at Dundee Securities
The TSX index's rise followed the move of other major world exchanges, which also hit three-week highs as investors cheered after politicians in Slovakia reached a deal that will let the country approve an expansion of the euro zone's rescue fund. [MKTS/GLOB]
Slovakia is the last country in the 17-member currency zone left to approve the revamped European Financial Stability Facility. [ID:nL5E7LC0JT]
"I think the stage was set for an explosive rally and no question the tide turned Tuesday. The No. 1 (reason) is that European issues will be resolved and more certainty that action will come," said Barry Schwartz, vice president and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.
In the United States, the S&P 500 index traded above 1,200 for the first time in three weeks. A sustained break above the key resistance level of 1,215 would be seen as a bullish sign, analysts said.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite ended up 154.41 points, or 1.3 percent, at 12,029.96 .GSPTSE, with its move over the past five sessions its biggest rally in nearly two months.
Nine of the index's 10 sectors were up, with the information technology group, home to BlackBerry maker Research In Motion RIM.TO, the sole decliner.
RIM closed down 3.46 percent at C$24.27 as the company struggled to work through a service outage caused by a backlog of messages after a core switch failure in Europe. The company said there was no hack or breach of its systems.[ID:N1E79B1JU]
Highly leveraged to the stock market, Manulife Financial (MFC.TO: Quote) finished strong on Wednesday, rising 3.96 percent to C$12.85 on the upswing in risk sentiment.
Among other financial shares, Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) rallied 1.27 percent to C$75.20, and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) rose 1.84 percent to C$48.83.
Lagging the price of the commodity, gold miners were among the biggest decliners. Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: Quote) ended down 0.69 percent at C$48.98, while Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) fell 0.63 percent to C$48.65, and Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO: Quote) dropped 0.89 percent to C$17.84.
Spot gold rose to $1,678.80 an ounce on Wednesday and has jumped 2.5 percent in the past three sessions, rising with other commodities despite its inverse relationship with risk assets.
($1=$1.02 Canadian) (Reporting by Ashleigh Patterson; editing by Peter Galloway)
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