CANADA STOCKS-TSX buoyed by U.S. bank optimism

Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:54pm EDT
 
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* Market focus on this week's quarterly U.S. bank reports

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By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, April 13 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index finished up nearly 1 percent on Monday with bank and insurance shares buoyed by optimism that quarterly U.S. bank results this week will show the sector has stabilized after being shaken hard in the global financial crisis.

Bets that the U.S. financial group will post reassuring results pushed up the main Toronto index's financial sector 2 percent. Royal Bank of Canada rose 2.58 percent to C$40.60.

Among other top gainers were Toronto Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote), up 2.46 percent at C$47.90, and Manulife Financial (MFC.TO: Quote), up 2.59 percent at C$18.98.

"We're kind of back in the mentality that the first quarter earnings, at least on the financial side, are going to be fairly good. Step one is to try to get some solid earnings in that sector," said Andrew Pyle, a wealth advisor at ScotiaMcLeod in Peterborough, Ontario.

He said that if U.S. banks report positive results, then that will suggest that credit conditions overall have probably started to improve, as well as the availability and access to capital.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 98.50 points, or 1.07 percent, at 9,285.62. Earlier it hit 9,310.89, its highest level since Jan. 7.   Continued...