CANADA STOCKS-TSX back above 12,000 as commodities rally

Mon Mar 29, 2010 4:37pm EDT
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*TSX up 72.35 points to 12,029.72

*Energy, materials sectors lead index higher (Updates to close, adds details, quotes)

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, March 29 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market index closed higher on Monday for the first time in four sessions, jumping back above the 12,000 mark as commodity prices rallied on U.S. dollar weakness, propping up the market's heavyweight resource shares.

U.S. crude futures rose almost 3 percent as the greenback retreated, fueling demand for commodities, which are mostly priced in U.S. dollars.

Suncor Energy Inc SU.TO, Canada's largest oil company, gained 3.6 percent to C$31.95, while natural gas major EnCana Corp ECA.TO added 2.1 percent to C$30.99. The index's powerhouse energy sector rose almost 2 percent. [O/R].

The greenback lost some safe-haven luster as investor confidence grew over last week's euro zone agreement on emergency financial aid for Greece. [ID:nLDE62S0TU]

"It's a winning day," said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod. "The weak U.S. dollar is helping us, the commodities sector is strong."

Materials issues were up 0.9 percent as gold and base metal prices firmed. Gold hit its highest level in more than a week and copper rose to its highest in almost three months. [GOL/][MET/L]   Continued...