* TSX up 92.3 pts, or 0.8 pct at 12,208.31
* Materials, energy sectors lead gains
* Metal, oil prices rise
* Greece, euro zone fears still weigh (Adds details, analyst comments)
By Jon Cook
TORONTO, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index rose on Wednesday, following two days of sharp losses on Greek debt concerns, as upbeat U.S. jobs data and firmer commodity prices pushed energy and mining stocks higher.
Oil, copper and other commodities all rose following their vicious sell-off on yesterday’s surprise announcement of a Greek referendum vote on a euro zone rescue package. [O/R] [MET/L]
“The risk of a disorderly Greek default has the capacity of putting major economies back in recession,” said Fergal Smith, managing market strategist at Action Economics. “U.S. data has been coming in better over the last while; there’s a bullish thread supporting the market on the back of that.”
A report showing U.S. private-sector payrolls rose in October, helped support analysts’ views that the world’s No. 1 economy is maintaining its slow growth and is not sliding back into a recession. [ID:nN1E7A104G]
At 1:10 p.m. (1710 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 92.3 points, or 0.8 percent at 12,208.31, giving back some gains after hitting a session high of 12,325.77 early in the day.
The upswing came on the heels of a two-day decline.
Energy stocks and the heavily weighted materials sector played the biggest roles in lifting the market, with the base metal miner subsector up nearly 2.5 percent.
“This sector is exceptionally sensitive to the economic climate,” noted Smith. “It had to contend with a major shock yesterday, but the overall thread of data has been improved.”
Materials were led higher by Barrick Gold, which climbed for the second straight day, rising 1.6 percent to C$51.10. Potash Corp (POT.TO) was also up 2.1 percent to C$47.48.
The energy sector also rallied after a 3 percent fall the previous day, gaining 1.1 percent as oil prices rebounded slightly.
Rick Hutcheon, president and chief operating officer at RKH Investments, said the market appeared to be getting close to setting a bottom, noting: “We’re probably getting down to the levels where we’re reasonably oversold and selective value in the Canadian marketplace is starting to creep in.”
A noncommittal U.S. Federal Reserve statement offered a moderately brighter economic outlook, but gave away little on the possibility of further easing. [ID:nN1E7A01ZU]
Weak European economic data, which showed manufacturing levels straddling the all-important 50-point mark, also dragged on markets. [ID:nL4E7M12GA]
$1=$1.00 Canadian Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson