CANADA STOCKS-TSX jumps 2 pct as euro zone hopes trump fear
* TSX rises 244.32 points, or 2.13 percent, at 11,707.19
* Rebounds from 14-month low reached earlier in session
* Nine of 10 sectors higher; banks, energy drive gains
By Trish Nixon
TORONTO, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index jumped more than 2 percent on Monday, bouncing back from a 14-month low, as hopes that European officials are tackling Greece's debt crisis boosted investor appetite for risk.
In a sign of progress, European policy-makers are working on ways to magnify the financial firepower of the euro zone's rescue fund to fight the region's sovereign debt crisis more effectively, a senior European Central Bank policymaker said. [ID:nLDE78P01H]
But euro zone officials played down reports of nascent plans to halve Greece's debts and recapitalize European banks, saying no such plan is yet on the table.
"There just seems to be a mood and nothing more than that," said Michael Smedley, chief portfolio manager at Morgan Meighen & Associates.
"There are no new panic factors occurring, no particular stress in the market, and a slight suggestion that there will be a reason to look more warmly on the European situation - though there seems no tangible evidence of that."
The economically-sensitive financials group jumped 3.2 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) was the most influential advancer, up 4.1 percent to C$47.98, while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) gained 4.1 percent to C$73.85.
After a volatile session, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 244.32 points, or 2.13 percent, at 11,707.19, with nine out of 10 sectors higher. Earlier, the index had fallen to 11,293.63, its weakest point since July 2010.
Markets have whipsawed for months over fears of European debt contagion and hopes that officials will finally contain the long-simmering crisis. Last week the TSX tumbled almost 7 percent, entering into bear market territory.
"We had a really steep sell-off last week, and no dramatic developments on the negative side over the weekend, so you're seeing some of the fear abate today," said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver.
"But the situation still remains extremely uncertain and I think we could continue to see sentiment turn on a dime this week."
Investors were unfazed by weak commodity prices. Energy issues rose 3 percent, while oil traded flat. The materials sector rallied 1.5 percent, even as gold tumbled 2 percent and copper entered its fourth down week. [O/R] [MET/L]
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