* 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) up 2.4 percent at C$56.24, and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), which climbed 1.9 percent to C$54.22. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) gained 0.8 percent to C$75.29.
Financial shares were up 1.7 percent a day after National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) 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]
National Bank was up 2.9 percent at C$69.82.
On euro zone debt, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said he had confidence the European Central Bank would take whatever action is needed to protect the stability of the euro. [ID:nLDE6B00QU]
Separately, a U.S. official told Reuters that Washington would support boosting an EU rescue facility via IMF funds. [ID:nLDE6B023Z]
“It’s that concerted effort towards supporting Europe that set the tone for a strong rally,” said Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada in Montreal.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 195.47 points, or 1.51 percent, at 13,148.35, chalking up its biggest percentage gain since mid-November.
At one point the index touched 13,154.42, its loftiest level since Sept. 8, 2008. All 10 of its sectors ended higher.
The blue chip S&P/TSX 60 index .TSE60 closed 11.59 points, or 1.56 percent, higher at 752.93.
Elsewhere, Rogers Communications (RCIb.TO) was down 0.3 percent at C$36.19 after a media report said the company is in talks to buy a majority stake in sports conglomerate Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which owns the NHL’s Maple Leafs and NBA’s Raptors. [ID:nN01118229]
Inmet Mining Corp IMN.TO, a top net gainer on the market, climbed 6.8 percent to C$66.15 after CIBC raised the company’s share-price target to C$88 from C$87, and rated it a sector outperformer. [ID:nWNAB6120]
$1=$1.02 Canadian Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway