July 13, 2009 / 8:33 PM / 8 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX finishes strong as financials charge

* 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).

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), up 3.04 percent at C$46.50.

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

"The U.S. financials are on fire. Our financials are up, but nothing to what we're seeing in the States," said Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada in Montreal.

U.S. stocks rallied more than 2 percent as bullish comments on financial sector performance lifted hopes that U.S. banks' quarterly results may be stronger than expected. [ID:nN13205956]

$1=$1.15 Canadian Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway

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