CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as banks take a star turn
* TSX up 0.85 percent at 12,204.41
* All Big Five banks rise 2 percent or more
* Goldman Sachs downgrades Potash Corp, stock drops 4 pct (Updates to close)
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO, April 14 (Reuters) - Banks powered Toronto's main stock index higher on Wednesday, encouraged by forecast-beating results from U.S. bank JP Morgan (JPM.N: Quote), while upbeat U.S. economic data and firmer commodity prices played supporting roles in the rise.
The index's financial group led the charge, up 2.03 percent, with all five big banks scoring gains of 2 percent or more as investors anticipated results similar to JPMorgan's at other U.S. banks, a good omen for Canadian bank results.
Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO, the country's biggest lender, shot up 2.99 percent to C$61.31 and Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO added 2.71 percent to C$76.64.
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce CM.TO gained 2.38 percent to C$74.74, while Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: Quote) rose 2.64 percent C$63. Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO was up 2 percent.
Sentiment was further lifted by stronger March retail sales in the United States and by better than expected results from tech heavyweight Intel (INTC.O: Quote) from Tuesday's closing bell. [ID:nN14374789] [ID:nN1382801]. Continued...