* TSX up 63.15 points, or 0.53 percent, at 12,021.26
* Commodity, bank shares lead TSX rise
(Adds details, quote)
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, March 26 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index rose on Friday as commodity prices found support after euro zone leaders agreed on a deal for debt-ridden Greece, pushing up resource-linked issues.
Euro zone leaders agreed to create a safety net to help debt-burdened Greece, unveiling late on Thursday a deal in which Athens would receive coordinated bilateral loans from other countries that use the euro and the International Monetary Fund if it faced severe difficulties. [ID:nLDE62P0J3]
The index’s key three sectors — energy, financials and materials — were comfortably higher, with shares of Suncor Energy (SU.TO) up 0.7 percent at C$31.09, Toronto Dominion Bank (TD.TO) up 0.3 percent at C$76.70, and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) higher by 1.1 percent at C$38.06.
“The Greece debt crisis seems to be settling down. It looks like Europe is going to come to a conclusion about supporting the debt requirements of Greece, aligned with the IMF. That certainly is a positive for the market,” said Paul Gardner, partner & portfolio manager at Avenue Investment Management.
“It looks like they’ll avert a crisis,” he added.
But Gardner added underlying investor worries about sovereign debt persist.
“The reaction is we go to the next, whether it’s Portugal, Italy or Ireland. It doesn’t change things. It puts a band-Aid on it. We have to focus on what is the real problem. The real problem is governments are strapped with debt,” he said.
At 9:52 a.m. (1352 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 63.15 points, or 0.53 percent, at 12,021.26.
Gold and base metals prices were largely higher, while oil, which had been stronger earlier in the day, softened slightly just after the market open. [GOL/] [MET/L] [O/R]
Also supporting the index was the information technology sector, with Research in Motion RIM.TO, a top net gainer, higher by 3 percent at C$77.46.
Shares of Lululemon Athletica LLL.TO gained 1.6 percent to C$41.09, after several brokerages raised its price target. [CA-RCH] The yoga and exercise wear retailer said its quarterly profit nearly tripled on Thursday, helped by its line of running gear and a rebound in consumer confidence. [ID:nN25211851]
($1=$1.03 Canadian) (Reporting by Jennifer Kwan, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)