* TSX up 28.22 pts, or 0.2 pct, at 12,382.69
* Materials, energy shares rise, financials drag
* Greek bailout deal delay weighs
* Global data, China comments boost sentiment
By Jon Cook
TORONTO, Feb 15 Canadian stocks were
higher at midday on Wednesday on encouraging economic data and
news that China would continue to buy up European debt, but
enthusiasm was tempered by reports that Greece's debt bailout
may be delayed.
Greece approved painful austerity measures on Sunday to
secure another European Union debt bailout but sources said the
deal may now be delayed until after Athens holds elections in
That was enough to keep nervous investors on the sidelines
as any delay would endanger Greece's ability to finance 14.5
billion euros ($19 billion) in bond redemptions due next month.
"The volumes are speaking to the uncertainties that are out
there," said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC Capital
Markets. "It looks we're avoiding the doomsday scenarios at the
moment, but there's still not a lot of enthusiasm."
The uncertainty pushed financial shares slightly lower with
Royal Bank of Canada, down 0.6 percent at C$53.32,
leading the sector's losses.
At 12:20 p.m. (1720 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index was up 28.22 points, or 0.2
percent, at 12,382.69.
Supporting the market was a key gauge of U.S.
manufacturing, which showed activity in New York State picked up
in February to its highest level in more than 1-1/2 years.
Also lifting shares was better-than-expected GDP data from
Germany and France and comments by China's central bank governor
that the world's No. 2 economy would play a bigger role in
solving Europe's debt problems.
The index's key materials sector cheered the news, rising
0.5 percent, mostly on the back of gold mining issues as bullion
prices climbed 1 percent in early trade.
Eldorado Gold, up 2.9 percent at C$13.40, Barrick
Gold, which climbed 0.2 percent to C$47.70, and Yamana
Gold, up 1.5 percent to C$16.33, were among the top
gainers in the materials group.
Potash Corp was the biggest single heavyweight
gainer, edging up 0.7 percent to C$44.76.
Oil and gas producers rose 0.6 percent after Brent crude hit
a six-month high near $120 a barrel on Wednesday on concern
about supply from Iran, other Middle East producers and Africa.
Canadian Natural Resources led the way, up 0.6
percent to C$36.58.