CANADA STOCKS-TSX perks up on upbeat outlook, U.S. earnings

Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:38am EDT
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* TSX up 0.25 percent at 12,132.24

* Financial stocks lead index higher

* Materials held down by fertilizer issues

By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO, April 14 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index edged higher on Wednesday morning, with financials leading the gains on upbeat U.S. economic data and company earnings, but held in check by retreating fertilizer issues.

Stronger March retail sales in the United States and forecast-beating results from U.S. bank JPMorgan (JPM.N: Quote) and tech heavyweight Intel (INTC.O: Quote) helped boost optimism about the economic recovery and pushed global equities higher. [ID:nN14143321]

The TSX financial index made hefty gains as Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote), the country's biggest lender, shot up 1.6 percent to C$60.45 and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) added 1.5 percent to C$75.70.

"Financials are certainly reacting nicely to the JPMorgan numbers and a belief that the rest of the U.S. financials are healing and there will be some good sequential earnings going forward into 2011 as the economy recovers," said Barry Schwartz, a portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.

Gold and copper prices also rose, lifting the mining sector 0.7 percent, as a fresh dip by the U.S. dollar added to positive sentiment in the market. [GOL/]   Continued...