April 23, 2010 / 3:20 PM / in 7 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX moves higher on commodities, techs

* TSX up 0.4 percent at 12,207.67

* Resources, techs lead index higher

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, April 23 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index rose on Friday morning after a shaky start as firming commodity prices boosted resource shares and technology issues made hefty gains.

The index’s materials group was up 0.7 percent as safe-haven gold rose more than 1 percent to above $1,150 an ounce after news that debt-laden Greece has moved to trigger a huge financial bailout. Meanwhile, upbeat global economic data boosted the demand outlook for base metals. [GOL/] [MET/L]

Shares of Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO), the world’s largest bullion producer, were up 0.5 percent at C$40.36, while Teck Resources TCKb.TO, the country’s biggest base-metals miner, added almost 1 percent to C$44.41, a day after it said it will reinstate its common share dividend. [ID:nN22107208]

”That’s very positive when we’re talking about a firm that is having liquidity issues,’ said Francis Campeau, a broker at MF Global Canada in Montreal.

Oil prices rose above $84 a barrel, sending the index’s powerhouse energy sector up 0.5 percent.

Shares of Suncor Energy (SU.TO), Canada’s biggest oil company, jumped 1 percent to C$34.20, while EnCana Corp (ECA.TO), the country’s largest natural gas producer, gained 0.3 percent to C$32.07.

“We’ve settled down, probably because the U.S. market has calmed down a little here this morning,” said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod.

Wall Street added to gains after data showed sales of newly built single-family homes rebounded strongly in March to their highest level in eight months. [.N]

At 10:44 a.m. (1444 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 46.80 points, or 0.38 percent, at 12,207.67. It seesawed between negative and positive just after opening before making its advance.

“It’s been a winning week so far and I‘m going to suggest that maybe given the outlook, there is not a lot of reason why we can’t maintain the gains for the week,” Ketchen added.

The heavily-weighted financial sector was almost flat but Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO), Canada’s No. 3 insurer, rose 1.4 percent to C$31.44 and exchange operator TMX Group (X.TO) added 0.8 percent to C$29.23, a day after its key rival Alpha Group said it is seeking full stock exchange status. [ID:nN22235916]

Technology stocks were also in focus, up 1.1 percent, as Celestica Inc (CLS.TO), whose biggest customer is BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion RIM.TO, shot up 4.3 percent to C$11.00, a day after reporting it is on track to increase revenue by 6 percent to 8 percent this year.

Sears Canada SCC.TO dropped 1.6 percent to C$29.03 after the U.S. retailer Sears Holdings Corp (SHLD.O) said it would take an additional 17.3 percent stake in the company, cementing its hold on the Canadian department store chain, which it tried to take private some four years ago. [ID:nN2395953]

$1=$1.00 Canadian Reporting by Claire Sibonney, editing by Peter Galloway

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