* TSX shoots 1.8 percent higher at open
* Higher commodity prices credited for rally
* Bailout for Bank of America also aids
By Frank Pingue
TORONTO, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was higher, but off early highs, on Friday morning, boosted by rising prices for key Canadian commodities oil and gold.
The heavyweight financial sector also contributed to the gain, bolstered by the news overnight that Bank of America (BAC.N) will receive a bailout from the U.S. government.
Higher prices for gold and oil helped drive gains in the energy and materials sectors, which together account for about 40 percent of the overall index.
“Higher commodity prices and the bailout news south of the border are kind of helping to drive some of the gains,” said Steve Ibel, institutional equities trader at Beacon Securities, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
“We’re also seeing some pretty broad strength across the board today ... just a bit of a recovery after a couple of down days earlier this week.”
At 10:05 a.m. (1505 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 51.26 points, or 0.58 percent, at 8,930.87. Earlier, it rallied as high as 9,036.44, for a gain of 156 points, or 1.8 percent.
$1=$1.24 Canadian Reporting by Frank Pingue; editing by Peter Galloway