*TSX up 43.52 points at 12,254.22
*Financial, energy sectors lead index higher
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, May 3 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was higher on Monday morning as strengthening oil prices and relief that the Greek debt debacle had been stabilized by a record bailout boosted heavily financial and energy shares.
The index’s energy sector was up 0.7 percent as Suncor Energy Inc SU.TO, Canada’s biggest oil company, gained 0.5 percent to C$34.93 and EnCana Corp ECA.TO, the country’s largest producer of natural gas, edged 0.3 percent higher to C$33.69.
Oil rose above $86 a barrel, but concerns about the oil spill in the United States threatened to pressure prices.
“You’ve got commodities a little bit better here today and the market has just got a little bit of a bounce back in it,” said Bruce Latimer, a trader at Dundee Securities, Latimer said.
Among financial shares, Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO, the country’s biggest lender, jumped 1.4 percent to C$62.47, while No. 2 Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO rose 0.9 percent to C$76.21.
The index’s financial group as a whole rose 0.8 percent as a German official said on Monday that Greece may not even need to take advantage of the full volume of a 110 billion euro ($146 billion) bailout package agreed to by the euro zone and International Monetary Fund. [ID:nBAT005388],
“The important thing is the issue is being addressed rather than allowed to fester, so that’s certainly a step in the right direction,” Latimer said.
Also encouraging the market were U.S. figures showing a rise in consumer and construction spending. [ID:nN03193333]
At 10:20 a.m. (1420 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 43.52 points, or 0.36 percent, at 12,254.22. Seven of the 10 groups were higher.
Gold rose to a 2010 high but the move was not enough to push gold-mining stocks higher as investors took profits after a recent rally. [GOL/]
Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO, the world’s biggest bullion producer, slumped 1.7 percent to C$43.56, while Goldcorp Inc G.TO lost 1.4 percent at C$ 43.30.
Mid-cap gold miner Red Back Mining RBI.TO plunged more than 5 percent to C$25.33, after releasing its quarterly earnings. [ID:nWNAB5279]
Shaw Communications Inc SJRb.TO dropped 2.8 percent to C$18.55, after it reached a deal with the debtholders of Canwest Global Communications to acquire the television operations of the bankrupt media company for C$2 billion ($1.97 billion) including assumed debt. [ID:nN03204463]
Torstar Corp was down more than 1 percent at C$11.05 after the company submitted an offer to purchase Canwest’s newspaper and digital businesses. [ID:nWNAB5288]
$1=$1.01 Canadian Reporting by Claire Sibonney, editing by Peter Galloway