* TSX up 40.01 pts, or 0.3 pct, at 12,269.28
* Energy sector gains as oil rises further above $100
* Gold miners drag on lower bullion prices
* Europe debt contagion fears weigh (Adds analyst comments, details)
By Jon Cook
TORONTO, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Canadian stocks rose in choppy trade on Wednesday as gains in energy shares on higher oil prices offset losses from gold miners and broader market fears that Europe’s debt crisis is spreading.
U.S. oil rose to $101.52, its highest since June, supported in part by some unexpectedly strong U.S. economic data. [ID:nN1E7AF0ES] [O/R]
“Oil at $100 tells us that the market’s not looking towards a recession,” said Irwin Michael, a portfolio manager at ABC Funds.
The Canadian energy sector led the broader index higher, rising nearly 2 percent. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) led the sector’s gains, jumping 4.5 percent to C$39.20.
Canada’s subindex of gold stocks fell 0.3 percent as bullion endured its largest one-day drop this month. [GOL/]
Miner Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) was the biggest drag, falling 0.5 percent to C$53.15.
Though widely viewed as a safe-haven, gold has recently traded with the European headlines and was down with fears the European debt crisis was broadening and could engulf the economies of Austria, Holland and France. [MKTS/GLOB]
At 11 a.m. (1500 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 40.01 points, or 0.3 percent, at 12,269.28, after touching a session low of 12,163.35 shortly after the open. (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)