CANADA STOCKS-Surging financials lead TSX rally
* TSX jumps 313.37 points to 7,880.41
* Financials headline rise with 12.04 pct surge
* Materials only sector closing lower (Adds comments and details)
By Frank Pingue
TORONTO, March 10 (Reuters) - Toronto's key stock index rose 4 percent on Tuesday to close at its highest level in over two weeks as Citigroup (C.N: Quote) said it was profitable during the first two months 2009, easing some investor concerns about the battered U.S. financial system.
In a memo to staff, Citigroup's chief executive provided reassurance on the bank's prospects. [ID:nLA390055] The news helped light a fire under the TSX's heavily weighted financial index, which rallied 12 percent for its biggest one-day percent gain in five months.
Shares of Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote), the key contributor to the TSX's gain, surged 14.41 percent to C$32.94, followed by Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote), which ended 11.05 percent higher at C$38.50.
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 313.47 points, or 4.14 percent, at 7,880.41. It marked the TSX's biggest percent gain since Dec. 8, when it rose 5.55 percent.
Some experts felt a good portion of the latest rise was brought on by short covering, an investment technique that can exaggerate rallies in volatile markets. Continued...