* TSX up 9.66 points, or 0.08 percent, at 12,099.06
* Energy leads index higher with oil above $82
* Poll shows TSX flat at midyear, rising by yearend (Adds details and quotes)
TORONTO, March 17 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index rose to another 17-month high on Wednesday morning, boosted by firmness in commodity prices as the U.S. Federal Reserve’s renewed pledge to keep interest rates low for an extended period drew investors to riskier assets.
Miners led the gains with Teck Resources TCKb.TO up 1.1 percent at C$41.93, and Ivanhoe Mines (IVN.TO) 2.5 percent higher at C$16.77 as base metals prices firmed, in part as the U.S. dollar slackened. [GOL/] [MET/L]
Suncor Energy (SU.TO) rose 1.2 percent to C$31.74 and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) was up 1 percent at C$74.73, helped higher by stronger oil prices as OPEC left output targets unchanged. [O/R]
The index’s move higher was not as robust as some market watchers expected.
“I’m very surprised we’re lagging so much this morning,” said Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada in Montreal.
Campeau pointed to financials, up just 0.03 percent, as an area of softness as investors paused following a recent runup. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) was up 0.08 percent at C$59.51, while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) fell 0.6 percent to C$74.55.
At 10:43 a.m. (1443 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 9.66 points, or 0.08 percent, at 12,099.06. Earlier, it touched 12,122.47, its highest level since September 2008.
“The story still looks quite bullish. Commodities are testing resistance. The market is making new year highs as we speak,” Campeau said.
In a Reuters poll published on Wednesday, respondents said the S&P/TSX composite will likely flatline into the middle of the year then push higher toward the end of the year, supported by its heavy weighting in resource stocks as the economy slowly heals. [EPOLL/CA],
The Canadian dollar rallied above 99 U.S. cents on Wednesday morning, its highest level in 20 months, putting it a step closer to being on an equal footing with the U.S. dollar. [CAD/]
($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway)