CANADA STOCKS-Banks and resources push TSX to 3-week high
* TSX up 105.28 points, or 0.83 percent, at 12,806.91 * Broad rally lifts index to highest level since Jan. 30 * Index rises with global stock markets, oil and gold prices By Alastair Sharp TORONTO, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index jumped to its highest since late January on Monday, boosted by gains in heavyweight banking, energy and mining stocks as investors shook off some recent hesitation and sought companies that looked undervalued. Gains were notched across the index's 10 main sectors as a perceived absence of global risks combined with hopes for the imminent quarterly earnings season for Canada's banks. "Every asset class is attractive except for cash," said Barry Schwartz, portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services. "I believe we're in the beginning stage of a very strong upswing in equities." At 10:40 a.m (1540 GMT) the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 105.28 points, or 0.83 percent, at 12,806.91. It had earlier hit 12,832.71, its highest level since Jan. 30. Toronto-Dominion Bank had the biggest positive effect, up 1.8 percent at C$85.81, a move one analyst attributed to reports that Royal Bank of Scotland plans to sell part of its U.S. Citizens bank this year or next in an initial public offering. TD had been seen as a possible buyer of Citizens, and that had weighed on TD's shares as investors had worried about the bank taking a risk with the underperforming U.S. lender. The IPO reports may have suggested to the market that a deal with TD is less likely to happen, at least in the near future. Shares in Suncor Energy Inc and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd were the next biggest contributors to the index's rise, boosted by a Barron's article suggesting each stock could gain 25 percent in the next year. Suncor last traded up 1.5 percent at C$32.43 and Canadian Natural Resources gained 2.3 percent to C$31.06. Resource stocks more broadly brushed off worries that a retreat in China's manufacturing activity would dent demand from the world's top energy consumer. European and U.S. stock markets gained, while oil and gold prices also rose. Shares in BlackBerry rose 2.3 percent after the smartphone maker's chief executive told a German newspaper that sales of its make-or-break BB10 line were going better than expected and that the company had increased production to keep up.
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