* TSX up 94.76 points at 13,641.68
* Seven of 10 sectors stronger
* Oil, metal prices rebound
* Financials down but Manulife up almost 4 pct (Updates with details, quotes)
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, March 16 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index pushed higher on Wednesday after two days of losses as resource shares were lifted by a rebound in commodity prices, although Japan’s nuclear crisis, clashes in the Middle East and debt problems in Europe still weighed on sentiment.
Energy stocks rallied 1.6 percent as oil prices rose by more than $2 a barrel as violence in Bahrain, Yemen and Syria renewed fears about oil supply in the region. [O/R]
Suncor Energy SU.TO jumped 2.7 percent to C$43.02 and Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO advanced 1 percent to C$46.35.
Materials were up 1.7 percent as miners advanced on rebounding prices for copper and gold, with Teck Resources TCKb.TO climbing 3.2 percent to C$53.34 and Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO adding 1.1 percent to C$49.00. [MET/L] [GOL/]
“After the shock of the last few days, the market is probably due for a bit of a recovery here. But I think the long term reverberations of the earthquake and tsunami (in Japan) will go on for a period of time here,” said Michael Sprung, president of Sprung & Co Investment Counsel.
Japan’s nuclear crisis following the natural disaster appeared to be spinning out of control on Wednesday after workers withdrew briefly from a stricken power plant because of surging radiation levels, and a helicopter failed to drop water on the most troubled reactor. [ID:nL3E7EF450]
At 10:26 a.m. (1426 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 94.76 points, or 0.7 percent, at 13,641.68. Seven of the 10 sectors were stronger.
Financials, however, were down 0.1 percent. Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO, dropped 0.7 percent to C$59.16, but insurer Manulife Financial MFC.TO surged 3.8 percent to C$16.64 after a recent selloff.
“People initially overreacted to the amount of exposure that Manulife had in Japan, I think sober second thoughts are causing people to re-evaluate that, so not surprising to see Manulife come back,” added Sprung.
Some uranium producers were also on firmer footing after suffering steep losses this week because of the Japanese crisis. Uranium One UUU.TO rose almost 5 percent to C$3.91 but Cameco Corp CCO.TO was down 0.3 percent to C$31.99 after advancing in the previous session. (Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Rob Wilson)