October 15, 2012 / 12:57 PM / 5 years ago

TSX bounces back to end higher as financials rise

A Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) logo is seen in Toronto November 9, 2007. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose slightly on Monday, rebounding from five-week lows earlier in the session as commodity stocks trimmed early losses and financial shares pushed higher on robust U.S. bank earnings and economic data.

Stronger-than-expected results at U.S. No. 3 bank Citigroup Inc (C.N), combined with better-than-expected U.S. retail sales, gave a charge to the financials subgroup, which ended the session up 0.56 percent, rebounding from a slide last week.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), Canada’s largest bank, rose 0.7 percent to C$57.24, while insurer Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) gained 1.5 percent to C$12.03.

Seven of the TSX’s 10 subgroups rose during the session.

Gold miners and energy producers were notable exceptions. They ended slightly lower but up sharply from morning lows, following the lead of gold and oil prices.

“The energy stocks have been sort of bouncing around, and the metal stocks and gold stocks haven’t done particularly well,” said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC Capital Markets, pinning the early weakness in oil on weak sentiment from the overnight session.

“Europe’s probably more pessimistic than we are here.”

The energy sector ended down 0.1 percent, weighed down by Talisman Energy TLM.TO, which fell 0.55 percent to C$12.70, and Precision Drilling (PD.TO), down 0.8 percent at C$7.84.

Materials stocks ended down 0.16 percent, weighed by gold miners, as the price of bullion was hurt by the strong U.S. data. Gold, often used as a hedge against bad news, typically falls on strong economic data.

Among gold producers, Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) slid 0.8 percent to C$37.99, while Agnico-Eagle (AEM.TO) slid 0.8 percent to finish at C$50.10.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended the session up 27.92 points, or 0.23 percent, at 12,229.96. Earlier, the index touched a session low of 12,137.18, its weakest level since September 6.

The index has been on the defensive over the past week as worries about Europe’s debt crisis has overshadowed strong economic data and some upbeat earnings.

“What I take from it is we had our comeback from the depths of despair from the summer, and maybe that’s all she wrote for this year,” said Barry Schwartz, vice president and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.

Observers said investors are likely cautious ahead of upcoming earnings in both Canada and the United States, while the U.S. election campaign has also ratcheted up uncertainty.

Among individual movers, flight simulator manufacturer CAE (CAE.TO) surged 2.9 percent to C$10.58 after it said it won C$200 million in military contracts.

Reporting by Cameron French; Editing by Dan Grebler

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