CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises sharply as bank optimism builds

Mon Mar 16, 2009 12:38pm EDT
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* TSX index rises 2.16 percent to 8,482.47

* Financial sector up 4.6 percent

* Rogers shares up on report company has chosen CEO (Adds details, quotes)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, March 16 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was sharply higher at midday on Monday on strength in financial issues, which climbed on hope of stabilization in the world banking industry.

Toronto's financial sector was up 4.6 percent, with Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) rising 6.1 percent to C$43.67, and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) up 3.2 percent at C$36.56.

The sector was supported by news that Britain's Barclays Bank (BARC.L: Quote) said it had a strong start to the year. [ID:nLG308800] Last week, Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase offered reassuring statements about their profitability [ID:nLG518010].

Gareth Watson, Canadian equity advisor, at ScotiaMcLeod's Portfolio Advisory Group said "signs of optimism" coming out of banks help to boost the broad market.

Financials were also helped by comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who said he sees a U.S. recovery beginning in 2010. [ID:nLG112344]   Continued...