CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends higher as financials lead gains

Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:49pm EDT
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* TSX gains 0.47 percent to 12,668.01

* Nine of TSX's 10 main sectors higher (Updates to close)

TORONTO Oct 18 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index closed higher on Monday in a broad advance led by financial issues, which were supported by a healthier profit at Citigroup and an acquisition by Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE gained 58.94 points, or 0.47 percent, to close at 12,668.01. Nine of the 10 main TSX sectors rose, with financials up more than 1 percent.

Investors were still encouraged by the prospect that the Federal Reserve will offer extra economic stimulus to the U.S. economy, which has helped fuel the TSX's recent rally.

"There's not much to be negative on. Central banks have let it be known that interest rates will stay low for a long period of time. They're going to be providing liquidity and some of that will go into the stock market and other assets. Earnings are continuing to move up and valuations are reasonable," said Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier.

"Investor sentiment is turning more positive but I wouldn't say it's euphoric."

U.S. bank Citigroup reported a better than expected quarterly profit, stealing the spotlight from fears about the exposure of major U.S. banks to foreclosure losses. [ID:nN18138072] [ID:nN11106777]

Royal Bank rose 1.17 percent to C$56.20 after it offered to buy British fund manager BlueBay Asset Management BBAY.L for 963 million pounds ($1.5 billion) as Canada's biggest bank looked to cement its position as a top 10 global wealth manager. [ID:nLDE69H06R]

Other banks were also strong performers, with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce CM.TO adding 1.4 percent to C$78.36, while Bank of Montreal BMO.TO and Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO each rose nearly 1 percent.

($1=$1.01 Canadian) (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)