*TSX up 149.42 points, or 1.25 percent, at 12,077.01
*Energy, materials shares lead TSX higher
*Biovail rises 12.6 pct on news of merger with Valeant (Adds details, quotes)
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, June 21 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index shot higher on Monday morning as commodity-linked shares gained on hopes China’s move to boost the value of its currency would increase its resource imports.
Among base metal producers, Inmet Mining IMN.TO shot up 6.4 percent to C$49.51, and First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) rose 6.1 percent to C$65.67, while Teck Resources TCKb.TO rose 5.7 percent to C$37.40.
In the oil and gas group, Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) climbed 2.1 percent to C$38.75, while Suncor Energy (SU.TO) was up 2.1 percent to C$35.15.
China’s weekend announcement that it will allow its currency, the yuan, to rise was seen as a signal of confidence in its economy, while fending off criticism that the yuan is undervalued, giving its exports an unfair advantage in trade.
Commodity prices pushed higher as the move is expected to increase the purchasing power of Chinese importers and create higher demand in the global economy, which encouraged investors globally to buy risky assets. [ID:nN20208975]
“It’s all about China,” said Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada in Montreal.
“China said on the weekend they’re looking at revaluing the yuan. This is giving a boost to the market and creating U.S. dollar weakness. Risk is back on,” he said.
At 10:07 a.m. (1407 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 149.42 points, or 1.25 percent, at 12,077.01, its strongest level since May 14. All of the TSX’s 10 main groups were higher.
In individual company news, Biovail Corp BVF.TO BVF.N, Canada’s biggest publicly traded drugmaker, said it has agreed to merge with U.S.-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International VRX.N in a deal that would expand the new company’s presence in North America. [ID:nSGE65K07S] Biovail shares rallied 12.6 percent to C$16.75, helping to boost the index’s small healthcare sector by 3.5 percent.
HudBay Minerals (HBM.TO) climbed 9.4 percent to C$12,82. The base metal miner on Monday named David Garofalo as its president and chief executive, effective July 12. [ID:nN21227027]
($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway)