April 12, 2010 / 2:59 PM / 9 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits 18-month high on Greece, commodities

*TSX up 0.1 percent to 12,192.61

*Banks, commodities lead index higher

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, April 12 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index edged up to an 18-month high on Monday as commodity prices rallied and a financial aid deal to prop up debt-stricken Greece boosted market appetite for risk.

Shortly after the open, the index hit 12,214.39, its highest level since September 2008.

The heavily weighted financial sector gained 0.3 percent. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO), the country’s No. 2 lender, rose 0.5 percent to C$74.51, while Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) jumped 0.8 percent to C$50.81.

Euro zone finance ministers agreed on a 30 billion euro ($40.5 billion) rescue package for Greece, prompting market bullishness, but subsequent cautionary comments from the German finance ministry spurred some investor skepticism. [ID:nLDE63B0NP]

“There was a stellar initial reaction, which was overnight our time, but it faded all morning and we’re gaining back with oil and different commodities,” said Francis Campeau, a broker at MF Global Canada in Montreal.

Gold was near a four-month peak and copper hit 20-month highs, boosting the materials sector 0.4 percent. [GOL/] [MET/L]

Shares of Goldcorp Inc (G.TO) rose 0.9 percent to C$40.75, and base-metals miner HudBay Minerals (HBM.TO) added 0.5 percent to C$13.31.

Contributing to gains, the powerhouse energy sector turned positive, up 0.3 percent, after oil prices ticked up.

At 10:22 a.m. (1422 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 15.77 points, or 0.13 percent, at 12,192.61. Half of its 10 sectors were higher. The index opened slightly lower as initial losses in energy shares weighed.

Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO), the country’s biggest oil company, edged 0.2 percent higher to C$35.53, and natural gas major EnCana Corp (ECA.TO) was little changed at C$32.34 after a rating agency downgrade.

Research In Motion RIM.TO lost 0.2 percent to C$70.11 after a report that rival smartphone maker Palm Inc PALM.OPALM.F has begun seeking offers for the firm. [ID:nLDE63B0B5]

$1=$1.00 Canadian Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Peter Galloway

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