* TSX ends up 165.06 pts, or 1.3 pct, at 12,623.36
* Highest close since Sept. 8, 2011
* Greek debt deal lifts risk appetite
* Domestic economic data mixed
By Jon Cook
TORONTO, Feb 21 Canadian stocks surged to
a five-month high on Tuesday, with mining and oil shares leading
the way, as risk appetite grew after euro-zone finance ministers
sealed a bailout package for Greece.
The 130 billion euro ($172 billion) deal was finalized after
euro-zone officials forced Athens to commit to unpopular cuts
and as private bondholders agreed to accept deeper losses.
It means Greece will not default on 14.5 billion
euro in bond redemptions due next month.
"This is about taking the downside risk off the market, but
it doesn't give you the upside part of the equation," said
George Vasic, equity strategist and chief economist at UBS
Securities Canada. "It's got to be sustained by good (global)
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
finished up 165.06 points, or 1.3 percent, at
12,623.36, its biggest one-day gain since Jan. 3 and its highest
level since Sept. 8, 2011.
Signs that Europe's debt crisis is being stabilized and of
health in the U.S. recovery have rallied the TSX more than 5
percent so far this year.
In the United States, the Dow touched 13,000 on Tuesday for
the first time since just before the financial crisis took hold
Nearly all of the TSX index's 10 main sectors were higher,
led by the heavily weighted materials group, which gained 3
Gold miners led the way, with Barrick Gold up 3
percent at C$48.25 as the world's top gold miner rode higher
bullion prices. Goldcorp climbed 2.9 percent to
C$48.16 and Yamana Gold Inc jumped 4.5 percent to
Base metal miners also rose as investor appetite for risky
assets such as industrial metals increased. Gains were
led by First Quantum Minerals, up 3.7 percent at
C$23.06, and Teck Resources, which rose 3 percent to
Potash Corp, the world's largest fertilizer
producer, climbed 2 percent to C$46.88 on hopes that a more
stable European economy would help global demand.
Oil and gas shares pushed up 1.4 percent as oil prices rose
on heightened euro zone optimism and on stricter sanctions
against Iran. Suncor Energy was the biggest
heavyweight gainer, rising 1.8 percent to C$34.74.
Oilfield services company Flint Energy spiked 66
percent to C$24.79 after U.S. engineering company URS Corp said
on Monday it will buy it for C$1.25 billion ($1.25 billion) in
Flint's pending acquisition boosted shares in other Canadian
construction companies that are active in the oil and gas
sector. Aecon Group, for instance, jumped more than 8
percent to C$12.44.
Financial stocks lagged the TSX index's gains, but still
climbed 1 percent. Royal Bank of Canada led the group,
rising 1.1 percent to C$53.72.
The Greek euphoria overshadowed some mixed Canadian data on
Tuesday. Retail sales dropped for the first time in five months
in December, though wholesale trade rose in the final month of
"These numbers look weak in relation to the first half of
2011, but we knew Canadian consumers have been a little more
prudent so it's not entirely surprising," said Carlos Leitao,
chief economist at Laurentian Bank Securities.