CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits 3-week high on soaring oil, banks

Wed Dec 1, 2010 10:50am EST
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* TSX jumps 1.01 percent to 13,083.80

* Index hits highest level since Nov. 9

* Bank shares surge after National Bank ups dividend

* Energy shares fueled by China data, oil price rise (Adds details)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index advanced strongly on Wednesday morning as energy issues got a lift from firm manufacturing data from China, while financials were supported by a strong start to bank earnings season.

Top advancers were in the index's banking and energy groups. Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO rose 1.8 percent to C$55.97, while Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO gained 1.4 percent to C$75.73. Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO advanced 1.9 percent to C$40.25, while Suncor Energy SU.TO was up 1.8 percent at C$35.

Stock markets around the world were driven higher on Wednesday by better-than-expected Chinese factory data in November that showed the Chinese purchasing managers' index rose to a seven-month high. [ID:nTOE6B004C] [MKTS/GLOB]

Toronto's oil and gas sector responded to the Chinese data with a 1.36 percent jump, reinforced by a near 2 percent rally in the price of crude oil.   Continued...