CANADA STOCKS-TSX higher as bank optimism builds

Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:06am EDT
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* TSX index rises 1.13 percent to 8,397.29

* Financial sector up 2.9 percent

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

TORONTO, March 16 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose more than 1 percent on Monday morning on strength in financial issues, which climbed on hope of stabilization in the world banking industry.

Toronto's financial sector was up 2.9 percent, with Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO rising 3.6 percent to C$42.67, and Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO up 2.1 percent at C$36.20.

The sector was supported by news that Britain's Barclays Bank BARC.L 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].

Gavin Graham, director of investments at BMO Asset Management, said the Barclays statement builds on what the U.S. banks said last week, which fueled some big market gains.

"What you're seeing is after what was a fairly strong period last week for both commodities and financials, this morning, you're seeing a bit of a disparity," he said.

The energy sector was down 0.1 percent on Monday morning as oil prices fell on disappointment that OPEC did not drop output targets [ID:nSYD484176]. EnCana Corp ECA.TO dropped 0.6 percent to C$49.30.   Continued...