* TSX up 0.22 pct at 12,160.87
* Materials lead, energy and financials rebound (Adds details, quote, official close)
By Cameron French
TORONTO, April 22 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index rebounded from a steep early drop to finish higher on Thursday, rising for the fourth straight session as investors brushed off early worries about debt-stricken Greece and drew confidence from strong U.S. earnings.
Financial stocks that fell early in the session trimmed their losses and ended almost flat, while a snapback in oil prices drew investors to oil and gas issues, resulting in a 0.33 percent gain for the index’s key energy sector.
“The market seems to be once again focusing on the strong fundamentals, the strong earnings growth, and that’s really helped create a big turnaround in sentiment on the day,” said Elvis Picardo, strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.
In the morning, the index fell more than 100 points after data showed Greece’s budget deficit was worse than previously thought. This boosted the safe-haven U.S. dollar, pressuring gold prices. [GOL/]
Despite the weak gold prices, the materials sector was the strongest of the seven TSX subgroups that rose and ended the session up 0.79 percent.
Teck Resources TCKb.TO led the sector higher and was the strongest major stock on the index, rising 5.5 percent to C$43.99. The diversified miner said it would reinstate its dividend, which it cut in late 2008 while awash in debt.
All told, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE rose 26.31 points, or 0.22 percent, to end at 12,160.87.
$1=$1.00 Canadian Reporting by Cameron French; editing by Peter Galloway