Commodity rally lifts TSX back above 12,000

Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:11pm EDT
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By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO (Reuters) - The TSX 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, Canada's largest oil company, gained 3.6 percent to C$31.95, while natural gas major EnCana Corp added 2.1 percent to C$30.99. The index's powerhouse energy sector rose almost 2 percent.

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

"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."

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed up 72.35 points, or 0.61 percent, at 12,029.72. Nine of the 10 main sectors were higher.

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 reached its highest in almost three months.

Barrick Gold Corp, the world's biggest gold producer, rose 0.5 percent to C$38.60, while base metals miner Teck Resources gained 4.2 percent to C$43.19.   Continued...

<p>A Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) logo is seen in Toronto in this November 9, 2007 file photo. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>