*TSX up 22.47 points to 11,981.09
*Energy, materials sectors lead index higher (Adds details, quotes)
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, March 29 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock market index edged higher on Monday morning as rallying oil, gold and base-metal prices propped up the resource-heavy index.
U.S. crude futures rose more than $2 as a weaker greenback and stronger equities markets helped lift prices, sending the index’s powerhouse energy sector up more than 1 percent. [O/R]
European and U.S. stocks gained as Greece launched a sovereign bond issue, easing concerns about the country’s debt problems, while investors were optimistic about key U.S. jobs data later this week. [.N] [MKTS/GLOB]
“A healthy overseas market is spilling over into this market here,” said Bruce Latimer, a trader at Dundee Securities.
Materials issues were up 0.5 percent as gold and copper prices firmed. [GOL/][MET/L]
Miner Goldcorp Inc (G.TO) rose 0.4 percent to C$38.24, while base-metals miner Teck Resources added 2.5 percent to C$42.49.
Also boosting risk appetite, data released on Monday showed that U.S. consumer spending rose as expected in February for a fifth straight month. [ID:nN29246203]
“That’s definitely positive. If you’re coming out of a recession you certainly want to see an improvement in consumer spending,” Latimer said.
At 10:13 a.m. (1413 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 22.47 points, or 0.2 percent, at 11,981.09.
Among the decliners, the financial sector was down 0.5 percent with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), the country’s biggest bank, losing 1.2 percent to C$59.10, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) off 0.6 percent at C$75.55.
“It looks like some of the banks are just giving up a little bit of their up move from Thursday and Friday,” Latimer said.
“We are also approaching month-end, so you’re going to see some people tidying up positions and adding to positions that they feel are undervalued.”
Shares of Air Canada ACb.TO rose 1.4 percent to C$2.13 after Chief Executive Calin Rovinescu said on Friday he’s beginning to see signs of a recovery for the North American airline industry as cargo volumes rise. [ID:nN26216475]
$1=$1.02 Canadian Reporting by Claire Sibonney, editing by Peter Galloway