* TSX up 142.24, points, 1.03 pct at 14,009.55
* Eight of the 10 main groups rise (Updates with details, comment)
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was sharply higher on Friday morning, jumping back above the 14,000 mark in a broad relief rally led by the mining-heavy materials sector and the influential banks.
Goldcorp (G.TO) was up 2.29 percent at C$45.47, while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) was ahead 1.56 percent at C$80.59.
Recent violent unrest in Libya sparked concerns over the OPEC country’s oil supply and worries the turmoil could spread to other oil producing nations in the region. But news that Saudi Arabia had quietly increased production to stem the spike in prices eased market fears.
“It’s a relief rally,” said Douglas Davis, chief executive officer at Davis-Rea.
“I really think there’s only one driving factor, which is people are a lot less worried about Libya then they were earlier in the week ... What’s happening there is no longer discouraging. That fear having been lifted, the market wants to lift.”
At 10:12 a.m. (1512 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 142.24, points, or 1.03 percent, at 14,009.55.
The market had skidded in a four-session retreat prior to Friday, having given back all of its gains from the previous week when it hit a 31-month high.
Eight of the TSX’s 10 main groups were higher, with the materials sector up 1.8 percent.
Gold prices firmed above $1,400 an ounce and were on track for a fourth straight week of gains, as the safe-haven metal’s status continued to appeal amid the geopolitical unrest. [GOL/]
The rally extended to energy stocks, which were up 0.65 percent. The group bounced back after Thursday’s retreat, even as oil prices slid on higher output from Saudi Arabia. [O/R]
Financials were up 1.01 percent on easing market tensions and healthy bank earnings. [ID:nN24267496] Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) rose 1.48 percent to C$60.20.
Fertilizer producers got a lift from a ratings hike from Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) and steady corn prices. Potash Corp POT.TO climbed 3.22 percent to C$58.90, while Agrium Inc AGU.TO gained 1.93 percent to C$91.79. [ID:nWNAB4530]