* TSX up 126.66 pts, or 1 pct, at 12,241.76
* Materials, energy sectors lead gains
* U.S. economic data boosts commodities
* Greece, euro zone fears still weigh
By Jon Cook
TORONTO, Nov 2 Toronto's main stock index
rallied on Wednesday after two days of sharp declines,
finishing up 1 percent as U.S. economic data and stronger
commodity prices helped offset fears about the looming Greek
referendum on the euro zone's bailout package.
Copper, oil, gold and base metals prices responded
positively to a U.S. Federal Reserve statement that offered a
moderately brighter economic outlook and appeared to leave open
the door for further easing.
The market's positive performance was held in check,
however, by lingering fears that a Greek confidence vote would
result in the rejection of a 130 billion euro bailout package,
which would have significant repercussions for the global
"The risk of a disorderly Greek default has the capacity of
putting major economies back in recession," said Fergal Smith,
managing market strategist at Action Economics.
"U.S. data has been coming in better over the last while;
there's a bullish thread supporting the market on the back of
that," he added.
A report showing U.S. private-sector payrolls rose in
October, helped support analysts' views that the world's No. 1
economy is maintaining its slow growth and is not sliding back
"I think the market is starting to form a viewpoint that
maybe by things getting worse, perhaps that's the price we need
to pay for things getting better in the intermediate term,"
said Paul Taylor, chief investment officer at BMO Harris
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index gave back some of its early gains, finishing up
126.66 points, or 1 percent, at 12,241.76, after rising as high
The upswing came on the heels of a two-day decline in which
the TSX touched a two-week low of 11,913.73.
Energy issues and the heavily weighted materials sector
played the biggest roles in lifting the TSX, with the base
metals subgroup up more than 3 percent.
"This sector is exceptionally sensitive to the economic
climate," noted Smith. "It had to contend with a major shock
yesterday, but the overall thread of data has been improved."
Materials were led higher by Barrick Gold , which
climbed for a second straight day, rising 1.8 percent to
C$51.18. Potash Corp was up 2 percent to C$47.45.
The energy sector rallied after a 3 percent fall the
previous day, gaining 1.7 percent.
Suncor Energy , was up 2.8 percent to C$31.79, while
Canadian Natural Resources , gained 2.7 percent to
C$34.98, were the biggest gainers.
Rick Hutcheon, president and chief operating officer at RKH
Investments, said the market appeared to be getting close to
setting a bottom.
"We're probably getting down to the levels where we're
reasonably oversold and selective value in the Canadian
marketplace is starting to creep in," Hutcheon said.
In individual company news, shares of Industrial Alliance
Insurance and Financial Services plunged nearly 11
percent after it reported a 28 percent drop in earnings on the
back of weak markets and claims-related losses.