CANADA STOCKS-Banks, energy companies push TSX higher
* TSX up 28.51 points, or 0.24 percent, at 11,970.21 * Banks, miners and energy companies all help with rise By Alastair Sharp TORONTO, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Canadian stocks were broadly higher on Wednesday, helped by investors seeing the positive in recent bank earnings and strong gains among energy companies after a week of weakness. By 10:35 a.m (1435 GMT) the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index had gained 28.51 points, or 0.24 percent, at 11,970.21. The gains reversed a slip since mid-August, when the benchmark index tested highs near 12,200 points. Among the biggest helps were a string of major Canadian banks which surprised last week with stronger profits and increased dividends as consumers kept borrowing. "The reporting validated that things aren't quite as bad on the consumer side as perhaps some people had feared," said Paul Hand, managing director at RBC Capital Markets. "And the dividend increases were a pretty big vote of confidence." Energy companies also moved higher, even as the price of oil slipped slightly on concerns about slower global growth. Suncor Energy Inc gained 0.6 percent to C$31.31 after it said on Tuesday that output at its oil sands operations increased in August compared to the previous month. The sector, a major influence on the overall index, had slipped 2.5 percent in the previous five sessions. "Energy stocks are pretty reasonable value again," Hand said. Fertilizer company Potash Corp also gained, up 1.5 percent to C$40.66. Still, concerns lingered as Canada's resource-heavy index weighed what is likely to happen next in regard to Europe and elsewhere. The euro zone probably slipped back into recession in the current quarter, according to business surveys that also showed Asia's services sector growth remained muted in August as the global economy struggled to get its footing. AuRico Gold Inc slumped 21 percent to C$5.44 after the miner cut its full-year production forecast for the second time in as many months. TransAlta Corp slipped 3.1 percent after the power producer sold shares to help pay for a 125 megawatt dual-fuel power station in Western Australia for $318 million.
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