RTTNews - Canadian stocks rose sharply at the opening bell Friday morning in Toronto as commodity producers gained on US dollar weakness.

Less than one hour into trading, the S&P/TSX Composite Index was up 70.62 at 10,770.13 . The previous two sessions saw the main index eke out marginal gains on light volume.

The price of crude jumped to its 2009 high above $74 a barrel as buck continued to hover near its yearly lows. The loonie hit a weekly high near C$1.0800 against the greenback.

Energy stocks were up 1 percent, led by gains from Petrobank (PBG.TO) and Imperial Oil (IMO.TO).

Promising economic news out of the Eurozone gave investor sentiment a boost. The Eurozone private sector economy showed signs of broad stabilization as the Purchasing Managers' Index hit the threshold level for August.

A New Jersey threw out a lawsuit filed by the pharmaceutical company Biovail (BVF.TO) against SAC Capital Management LLC. Biovail shares are down 0.8 percent.

Tristar Oil and Gas (TOG.TO) is up 1 percent after an analyst at CIBC reduced his rating on the company to sector performer.

Across the border in the US, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, insisting that economic recovery is likely to be sluggish.

Meanwhile, sales of previously owned U.S. homes in July notched their fastest pace in nearly two years.

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