* TSX up 66.08 points at 11,535.89
* Energy, materials boost index higher
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock market index opened higher on Tuesday as heavily weighted energy producers and miners were boosted by stronger oil and gold prices.
Shares of Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO), Canada’s largest oil company, were up 1.2 percent at C$31.23. leading the index’s gainers. The world’s biggest gold miner, Barrick Gold Corp (ABX.TO), rose 1.3 percent to C$39.24.
“We’ve got a little strength in the commodities, strength overseas overnight, and we came in here and everything had a little bit of a pulse to it, a little bit of a bid,” said Bruce Latimer, a trader at Dundee Securities.
“A lot of these commodity stocks have sold off over the last few weeks ... and you might be moving into a period of upwards consolidation.”
Oil rose more than $1 to more than $75 a barrel as the euro clambered higher against the dollar, the currency in which crude is priced.
Prices for oil, an important Canadian export, drew additional support from stepped-up pressure for more sanctions against Iran because of Tehran’s nuclear policy. [O/R]
As well, gold prices rose more than 1 percent in Europe as investors bought the metal to hedge against financial risk in the euro zone, and as the euro regained some lost ground versus the dollar. [GOL/]
At 10:05 a.m. (1505 GMT) The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 66.08 points, or 0.58 percent, at 11,535.89.
“I’d like to see the market hold itself for the first couple hours. We have had a lot of false starts recently,” said Latimer, adding that recent concerns of debt in the euro zone have moved to the back burner for the time being.
“It just doesn’t seem to be the headline information right now. It’s a bit more focused on commodities and our domestic economy and the strengths and weakness of that.”
$1=$1.04 Canadian Reporting by Claire Sibonney; editing by Peter Galloway