CANADA STOCKS-TSX jumps 1 pct on Greek optimism, ECB cut

Thu Nov 3, 2011 1:11pm EDT
 
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   * TSX up 179.16 pts, or 1.5 pct, at 12,420.92
 * Optimism on Greece helps drive gains
 * Canadian Natural up 7 pct after earnings report
 By Jon Cook
 TORONTO, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
extended gains on Thursday, rising more than 1 percent on
stronger commodity prices, boosted by optimism for a resolution
to the euro zone debt crisis and an interest rate cut by the
European Central Bank.
 After a call for his resignation by opposition party
members, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou softened his
stance on a referendum on the country's bailout package and
retreated from his push for a confidence vote on the euro zone
rescue fund, lifting the mood across global financial markets.
[MKTS/GLOB]
 "They're pretty well trading with the headlines that are
coming out of Greece right now," said Robert Kavcic, an
economist with BMO Capital Markets.
 Oil and gold prices also got lift from the ECB's surprise
decision to cut its main interest rate to help tackle the debt
crisis, a move that promised to boost credit availability and
brighten prospects for commodity demand. [O/R] [GOL/] [MET/L]
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE was up 179.16 points, or 1.5 percent, at 12,420.92
shortly after midday, after falling as low as 12,237.26 early
in the session.
 Nine of the 10 main sectors were higher, led by energy
issues, which were up nearly 3 percent.
 Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO led the sector higher,
rising 7.3 percent to C$37.52. Suncor Energy SU.TO was up 3.6
percent to C$32.94.
 Canadian Natural's quarterly profit rose 40 percent and
topped analyst expectations on higher output and crude price,
with the country's No. 2 oil producer forecasting a 17 percent
production rise in 2012. [ID:nL4E7M31JS]
 The materials sector rose 1.5 percent, aided by higher gold
prices. Barrick Gold ABX.TO was the biggest gainer, rising
2.1 percent to C$52.24.
 A U.S. Institute for Supply Management report that showed
the vast U.S. services sector slowed modestly in October to its
lowest level in three months, produced a slight drag on
markets. [ID:nN1E7A20JG]
 In individual company news, shares of Yellow Media Inc
YLO.TO rose more than 14 percent to C$0.40 after it posted a
14 percent rise in third-quarter profit. [ID: nL4E7M32VE]
 Valeant Pharmaceuticals VRX.TO rose 11 percent to C$43.37
after the specialty drugmaker said it would buy back up to $1.5
billion of its stock or debt, and that it returned to profit on
a surge in revenue. [ID: nNN1E7A20BY]
 Manulife Financial MFC.TO shares rose 2 percent to
C$12.80 despite the life insurer reporting a steeper than
expected loss in the third quarter. [ID:nN1E7A20B9]
 Sun Life Financial SLF.TO shares were down 4.5 percent to
C$22.93 after it reported a steep third-quarter loss and said
its earnings sensitivity to weak financial markets was
increasing. [ID:nN1E7A20LR]
 Magna International MG.TO shares fell 4.3 percent to
C$34.46 after it reported its earnings dropped sharply, partly
due to rising costs at its European operations.
[ID:nL4E7M31OM]
 (Editing by Rob Wilson)