CANADA STOCKS-TSX cheers progress on debt talks, earnings
* Index up 93.47 points, or 0.7 pct, at 13,434.30
* Nine of 10 sectors stronger
* Progress on U.S., euro zone debt crises cheered (Adds details)
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO, July 21 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market index rallied to a higher close on Thursday, encouraged by signs of progress in efforts to resolve the debt crises in Europe and the United States.
Strong U.S. earnings underscored the bullish sentiment and the composite index rose as high as 13,469.11, its strongest level since July 7. It pared gains by the close, however, and ended almost 9 points shy of being in positive territory on the year.
Ron Meisels, technical analyst and president of Phases & Cycles in Montreal, said North American markets have begun the next upleg of the current bull market.
He noted the first upleg pushed the index up 64.7 percent that ended in April of last year, paused, and then added another 29.5 percent to end the second upleg near the end of this April. He said markets achieved oversold conditions in late June.
"It is logical to conclude that, the markets have begun the third and final upleg of the current bull market on June 24," he said, estimating this third uptrend will take the TSX to 15,900, though did not provide a timetable.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 93.47 points, or 0.7 percent, at 13,434.30. Nine of its 10 sectors rose.
"It's (up) pretty much across the board," said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver. "It speaks to the fact that, at least on the day, the appetite for risk is back."
Energy stocks, up 1.47 percent, were boosted by rising oil prices and played the biggest role in leading the market higher.
Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote), the most heavily weighted riser, was up 2.48 percent to C$39.28. Fellow oil company Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) rose 1.7 percent to C$41.36.
Financial shares jumped 1.11 percent, finding encouragement in results from Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Quote) that far surpassed Wall Street expectations. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) climbed 1.28 percent to C$80.22, while Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) advanced 1.1 percent to C$54.15.
The rally's big catalyst was the agreement by euro zone leaders at an emergency summit to give their financial rescue fund sweeping new powers to help Greece overcome its debt crisis and prevent market instability from spreading through the region.
In the United States, two major newspapers reported the White House and top Republican lawmakers were close to striking a debt-reduction deal. That would remove the major political hurdle to raising the statutory $14.3 trillion debt ceiling so that the United States can avoid a default in early August and the loss of its top-notch credit rating.
Gold-mining stocks lost some safe-haven appeal on Thursday and were among the principal decliners. Goldcorp (G.TO: Quote) fell 2.43 percent to C$50.18, while Kinross Gold (K.TO: Quote) lost 1.09 percent to C$16.39.
($1=$0.94 Canadian) (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)
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