CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits 2-yr high on bank hopes, euro relief

Wed Dec 1, 2010 4:52pm EST
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* TSX ends up 195.47 points, or 1.51 pct, at 13,148.35

* Index hits highest level since early September 2008

* Bank shares surge after National Bank ups dividend

* World stocks soar on easing euro fears, upbeat data (Adds details)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose to its highest level in more than two years on Wednesday as financials got a boost from a strong start to bank earnings season, while concerns about euro zone debt eased.

The market was also lifted by better-than-expected economic data in China, Europe and the United States, which whetted investors' appetite for risk globally, boosting oil and metals prices. [MKTS/GLOB]

Top advancers on the TSX index included Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) up 2.4 percent at C$56.24, and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote), which climbed 1.9 percent to C$54.22. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) gained 0.8 percent to C$75.29.

Financial shares were up 1.7 percent a day after National Bank of Canada (NA.TO: Quote) reported a jump in quarterly profit and became the first major domestic bank to resume dividend hikes in the wake of the financial crisis. It raised its dividend a hefty 6.5 percent, spurring hopes that other banks will follow suit. [ID:nN01155484]   Continued...