CANADA STOCKS-TSX extends 31-month high on banks, energy, RIM

Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:55pm EST
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* Hits highest level since July 2008

* TSX ahead 1.06 percent at 14,077.24

* Citigroup raises RIM to "buy", stock jumps

* Credit Suisse boosts BMO rating, price targets on banks (Updates prices throughout)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index marched to its highest level in 31 months on Wednesday on firm energy issues, while financial stocks and Research In Motion rallied on analysts' upgrades.

The TSX index rose above the 14,000 mark for the first time since July 7, 2008, aided by a 4.7 percent jump by RIM RIM.TO to C$67.61 after Citigroup raised its rating on the BlackBerry maker by two notches.

Citigroup upgraded its rating on the company to "buy" from "sell", saying Nokia's NOK1V.HE much criticized strategy to embrace Microsoft's (MSFT.O: Quote) operating system was making carriers spend more money promoting the BlackBerry maker. [ID:nSGE71F061]

"There's been positive reviews on RIM, which is helping the TSX," said Francis Campeau, a broker at MF Global Canada, in Montreal.   Continued...