CANADA STOCKS-TSX pushes higher on upbeat outlook

Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:49pm EST
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 * TSX rises 91.32 points to 11,554.72
 * Energy and bank shares power rally
 * TSX up 54.5 percent since March low
 (Adds details, comments and official numbers)
 By Frank Pingue
 TORONTO, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose
on Monday as optimism for a global economic recovery next year
helped power shares of energy producer Canadian Natural
Resources (CNQ.TO: Quote) and its peers.
 Shares of Canadian Natural rose 2.3 percent to C$72.95,
while EnCana Corp (ECA.TO: Quote) rallied 2.6 percent to close at
 The rise by energy issues came as investors opted to place
bets that commodity prices will continue to rally in 2010 as
the global recovery prompts more demand for oil.
 "We're finally beginning to see signs of optimism about the
recovery in the global economy," said Elvis Picardo, an analyst
and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.
 "And this is some last-minute buying ahead of the holidays
as investors are beefing up their portfolios in anticipation of
a decent year next year."
 The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE rose 91.32 points, or
0.82 percent, to close at 11,554.72.
 The gain in the broader index was also driven by other key
sectors like financials.
 Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote), the biggest contributor to
the index's gain, rose 1.8 percent to C$55.79, while
Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) was up 1.6 percent at C$64.87.
 With just two full trading days left before investors take
off for Christmas and New Year holidays, the TSX could notch
further gains. It is now up 54.5 percent from the five-year low
it skidded to in March.
 The market will close at 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 24.