CANADA STOCKS-TSX soars on Petro-Canada deal, US asset plan
* TSX up 3.38 percent at 8,793.72
* Petro-Canada shares surge 23 pct on Suncor deal
* Financial sector rises 4 percent (Adds details, quotes)
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, March 23 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose sharply on Monday morning on optimism over a U.S. plan to purge banks of toxic assets and news that Suncor Energy SU.TO is set to buy rival Petro-Canada PCA.TO.
The energy sector, up 6.4 percent, led the TSX higher as Petro-Canada shares soared 23 percent to C$36.59 on news of its C$18.4 billion, all-share deal to be taken over by Suncor, creating Canada's largest oil company. [ID:nN22497404]
Suncor shares fell briefly at the opening bell and then rose 3.4 percent to C$31.96.
Financial stocks were up 4 percent on news of a U.S. plan to buy up to $1 trillion worth of toxic assets from banks, a key element of Washington's drive to pull the economy out of recession. [ID:nSP449612]
"Clearly, the market is taking it as good news," said Kate Warne, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis, Missouri. Continued...