CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits 2009 high; financials overcome weaker oil

Tue May 5, 2009 4:46pm EDT
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* TSX up 0.1 pct at 9,880.72

* Gain follows 4 percent rally on Monday

* Financials, up 1.7 pct, lead TSX higher

(Adds details, quote)

TORONTO, May 5 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index ended slightly higher on Tuesday, after touching their highest level in almost 6 months, as a firmer financial sector overcame weak energy issues, which fell as oil prices sagged.

Six of the index's 10 main sectors were higher, including the key financials group, which rose 1.7 percent, and the consumer discretionary sector, up 1.3 percent.

Top advancers included Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote), up 2.3 percent at C$36.30, and Toronto Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote), which climbed 2.1 percent to C$50.39.

The sector shrugged off caution south of the border over the U.S. bank stress test results, due May 7. A source familiar with official talks said U.S. regulators have deemed that about 10 of the 19 U.S. banks being stress tested will need to raise more capital. [ID:nN04553413]

"Right now the Canadian banks are perceived to be stronger and have better regulation and processes than their U.S. counterparts," said Steve Ibel, institutional equities trader at Beacon Securities, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.   Continued...