CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits 3-week peak after Bernanke comments

Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:04pm EDT
 
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* TSX up 109.13 points, or 0.88 pct, at 12,574.79

* All of index's 10 main sectors higher

* SNC-Lavalin up 5 pct after CEO resigns after payments probe

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, March 26 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose along with global equity markets on Monday and hit a three-week peak after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke made comments that signaled the U.S. central bank will keep a supportive monetary policy stance.

Bernanke said the U.S. economy needs to grow more quickly to get unemployment down, leading investors to take on more risk on hopes the central bank could conduct another round of quantitative easing.

Gainers included financials, up 0.8 percent, as Royal Bank of Canada, Canada's biggest bank, shot up 1.2 percent to C$58.67 and Bank of Nova Scotia, which also rose 1.2 percent at C$56.89.

"Bernanke told us they're going to continue to have easy monetary policy so it's all good for the risk trade," said Levente Mady, market strategist at Union Securities, in Vancouver.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index finished up 109.13 points, or 0.88 percent, at 12,574.79, with all of its 10 main sectors higher.   Continued...