CANADA STOCKS-TSX surges past 14,000 mark to 31-month high

Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:06pm EST
 
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   * TSX up 129.83 points, or 0.93 pct, at 14,059.18
 * Nine of 10 main groups end higher
 * Highest close since July 4, 2008
 * Energy jumps 1.97 pct, financials up 0.87 pct
 (Adds details, comment)
 By Solarina Ho
 TORONTO, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
surged past the 14,000 mark on Wednesday, hitting a 31-month
high, with energy and financial issues leading the charge.
 "The market has had a nice tone to it all day ... People
are clearly optimistic," said Bruce Latimer, a trader with
Dundee Securities.
 "(14,000) is just a psychological barrier, but I don't
think it has any bearing on whether people are making money or
losing money. People do look at them though."
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE unofficially closed 129.83 points, or 0.93 percent,
higher at 14,059.18, its highest close since July 4, 2008.
 Nine of the index's 10 main groups advanced, with consumer
discretionaries the lone decliner, retreating 0.19 percent.
 Energy stocks received a boost from Brent oil prices which
surged on unrest in the Middle East, while analysts' upgrades
provided some support for financial issues and influential
companies like Research In Motion RIM.TO.
 Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) climbed 3.77 percent to close at
C$43.45, while Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) jumped 4.19
percent to C$46.55. The overall energy group gained 1.97
percent.
 Brent oil prices neared 2-1/2 year highs as tensions
between Israel and Iran fueled existing worries about growing
unrest in the region. [O/R] [ID:nLDE71F2BQ]
 Financial stocks extended their recent gains, rising 0.87
percent to hit the group's highest level since May 2008.
Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) hit a record high, finishing up
1.55 percent at C$80.47. Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) also
notched a record high, rising 0.57 percent to C$60.21, while
Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: Quote) edged up 0.25 percent to C$60.51.
 The sector got a lift from Credit Suisse, which boosted its
rating on Bank of Montreal to "neutral" from "underperform" and
raised its price targets on five other Canadian banks.
[ID:nWNAB2415]
 "(The financials have) been in a nice move since the middle
of January," said Latimer. "That gives the investors a little
bit of confidence. The whole sector's been acting well and
there hasn't been a lot of bad news."
 RIM, which received a ratings upgrade by Citigroup, jumped
4.2 percent to C$67.25 to help lift the technology sector 1.14
percent.
 ($1=$0.99 Canadian)
 (Editing by Rob Wilson)