(Adds analyst comment, updates prices to close)
* TSX ends up 114.43 points, or 0.77 percent, at 14,904.91
* Eight of the TSX index’s 10 main groups rise
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, June 23 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index hit its highest close in more than two weeks on Tuesday, extending Monday’s sharp rebound, as heavyweight energy, financial and mining stocks gained in part on optimism about a deal to stave off Greek default.
The energy sector jumped most, up 1.7 percent, as crude prices popped higher ahead of U.S. data expected to show strong demand for oil products.
Top gainers included Suncor Energy, which rose 2.3 percent to C$34.78, and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd, which added 2.5 percent to C$35.93.
But gains on the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index were widespread, with well over twice as many advancing issuers as decliners.
“It shows how much liquidity there is in the market as soon as you get release out of the whole Greece situation,” said Sid Mokhtari, market technician and director of institutional equity research at CIBC World Markets.
The financials group gained 0.9 percent and materials, which includes miners, added 0.7 percent.
While the catalyst appeared to be Greece, Mokhtari said the excess liquidity itself was a more important sign for investors.
“There is a slow rotation occurring out of the bond market and into stock markets” as investors act on assumptions of higher U.S. interest rates coming from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Greece’s leftwing government expressed confidence on Tuesday that parliament would approve a debt deal with lenders, despite an angry reaction from some of its own lawmakers who accused it of caving in to pressure for more austerity.
The TSX gained 114.43 points, or 0.77 percent, to end at 14,904.91. That was its highest close since June 5. Eight of its 10 main sectors rose.
Technical drivers also helped, including trading in the aftermath of Friday’s “quadruple witching,” in which a number of stock options contracts expired.
“Some of it is still the unwind from the quadruple witching ... A lot of technical stuff going on from the rebalancings on Friday,” said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC Capital Markets.
“(Greece) is tangential in the sense that it doesn’t really impact North American markets directly. But it’s relief, hopefully, so we can get on to other things like what the economy’s actually doing.”
BlackBerry shares fell 3.9 percent to C$10.88 on uncertainty about what factors drove growth in the company’s crucial software segment during the first quarter.
$1=$1.23 Canadian Additional reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Peter Galloway and Cynthia Osterman