CANADA STOCKS-TSX powered higher by banks, energy issues

Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:38pm EST
 
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   * TSX up 86.32 points, or 0.67 pct, at 12,956.33
 * Financial lead gains; nine of 10 main groups higher
 * Research In Motion up 2.1 percent
 (Updates with analysts comments, details)
 By Solarina Ho
 TORONTO, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
finished higher on Friday, with strong bank issues leading a
broad-based rise, as easing worries over euro zone debt levels
overrode concerns about monetary tightening in China.
 The influential financial group was up 0.84 percent, with
Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) gaining 1.92 percent to C$55.32.
Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: Quote) rose 1.91 percent to C$60.33 and Bank
of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) advanced 1.15 percent to C$54.65.
 "There's been a fair amount of speculation that one or two
of the banks could even increase dividends at this point," said
Michael Sprung, president of Sprung & Co. Investment Counsel,
noting the banks are scheduled to report their results later
this months and early December.
 "I'm not sure that they're going to jump the gun and do so
quite this quickly, but nonetheless there are a few of them
that are in good positions that could do so if they want to."
 Manulife Financial was by far the index's most influential
decliner, losing 2.17 percent to finish at C$15.35. Investors
took some profits after shares hit three-month highs on
Thursday. [ID:nN19171180]
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE closed up 86.32 points, or 0.67 percent, at
12,956.33. The index gained 1.6 percent for the week.
 Nine of the TSX's 10 main sectors finished higher, with
healthcare issues the lone decliner, falling 0.5 percent.
 The energy group rose 1.03 percent, with Encana Corp
(ECA.TO: Quote) rising 2.81 percent to C$29.26 and Talisman Energy
TLM.TO gaining 2.43 percent to C$20.22.
 After an initial retreat, the market largely shrugged off
news that China would raise bank reserve requirements for the
second time in two weeks, as it continued its fight to rein in
prices. [ID:nL3E6MJ0N8]
 "I think the feeling is that perhaps things were oversold
and so we've got some people coming in and buying up some
stocks again," said Sprung.
 Markets have worried that China's tightening will cool
growth and cut demand for commodities such as oil and metals.
Fears that European sovereign debt levels could undermine
the global recovery have eased in recent days on expectations
that a multibillion-euro aid plan to end Ireland's debt crisis
will be unveiled next week. [ID:nLDE6AI0QG]
 "I think this has served to calm the waters somewhat on
that front, so I think that lent a fairly positive tone to the
markets for the most part," said Bob Gorman, chief portfolio
strategist at TD Waterhouse.
 Research In Motion RIM.TO was another big mover,
finishing the session 2.07 percent higher at C$59.76.
 "You're just seeing a little bit more positive sentiment
toward the stock; more people taking a look at it as a company
that is very inexpensive relative to their growth rate," said
Gorman. News that companies are adopting RIM's PlayBook tablet
computer has also been received positively by investors.
[ID:nN17192385]
 ($1=$1.02 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Rob Wilson)