CANADA STOCKS-TSX finishes strong as financials charge

Mon Jul 13, 2009 4:31pm EDT
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* TSX rises 1.49 percent to 9,891.93

* Financials lead TSX higher, follow U.S. banks (Adds details, quote, official closing figures)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, July 13 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index bounced back from a big decline to finish 1.49 percent higher on Monday with financial shares leading the charge after a prominent U.S. banking analyst upgraded Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N: Quote).

The financials sector, which accounts for about a third of the TSX index weighting, climbed 2.7 percent after analyst Meredith Whitney upgraded Goldman to a "buy" rating. [ID:nBNG121776]

Four of the top five heavyweight advancers were from the financial group, led by Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote), up 3.04 percent at C$46.50.

Manulife Financial (MFC.TO: Quote) followed, up 4.2 percent at C$20.03, while Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) rose 2.52 percent to C$41.49, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) was up 2.2 percent at C$58.05.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 144.80 points, or 1.49 percent, at 9,891.93. Earlier in the day it fell more than 1 percent.

Nine of the index's 10 main groups were higher, led by the financial sector. The sector's gains paled in comparison to its U.S. counterpart, but it made a strong attempt to catch up and vaulted more than 1 percent higher late in the session.   Continued...