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Canadian stock market gains amid continuing hope for Greek debt deal

(Xinhua)

13:29, March 12, 2012

TORONTO, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Canadian stock market was higher on Wednesday as concerns over falling commodity prices were superseded by optimism over Greek foreign debt problems being solved. Traders hoped that Greece is close to arriving at a deal that will see it get a crucial second bailout to stave off bankruptcy.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index was up 8.6 points, or 0.07 percent, at 12,521.02 while the S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index gained 2.41 points, or 0.14 percent, at 1,665.74.

Investors continue to look for news out of Greece on Wednesday, where leaders are hammering out the details of an austerity package. The package is necessary for the country to receive a 130- billion euros bailout from the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank.

Without these funds, Greece could miss a 14.5-billion-euro bond redemption in March.

On Wednesday, the leaders held talks with Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos to review a draft deal on steep cutbacks demanded by creditors. Papademos has distributed a final draft of the austerity program to members of his governing coalition.

Greece has already accepted a demand to fire up to 15,000 workers in the public sector in 2012, but it is still under pressure to impose deeper cuts, including reductions in pension payments and the minimum wage.

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