CANADA STOCKS-TSX edges up on financials; market eyes Fed move

Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:43am EST
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* TSX up 0.11 percent at 11,708.05

* Financials help lead way higher, golds main drag (Adds details)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was slightly higher on Friday morning as firmer banks and insurance companies were largely offset by retreating gold issues.

Trade was also somewhat cautious as the market digested an unexpected hike in the U.S. Federal Reserve's discount rate. That move suggested to some that the U.S. central bank was close to raising its fed funds rate, its main policy tool, despite assurances from Fed policymakers to the contrary. [ID:nFEDAHEAD] [ID:nSGE61I036].

"I would view (the Fed's move) as a positive sign because it's saying to U.S. banks ... start getting some of that cash out to the economy," said Barry Schwartz, vice-president, portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services.

"If banks start doing that, it would be another boost to the economy."

Manulife Financial (MFC.TO: Quote) was up 0.82 percent at C$19.63, while Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) pushed up 0.4 percent to 56.97. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) was up 0.41 percent at C$66.41.

On the downside, gold producers were the main drag after rallying earlier in the week on healthy quarterly results. Kinross Gold (K.TO: Quote) fell 2.18 percent to C$19.25, while Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO: Quote) lost 2.79 percent to C$13.22.   Continued...