CANADA STOCKS-TSX turns higher, boosted by financials

Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:54pm EDT
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* TSX up 0.1 percent at 10,524.52

* Financial group up 1.03 percent

* Energy sector off 0.5 percent on lower oil prices (Adds details, quotes)

By Nina Lex

TORONTO, July 22 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was slightly higher early on Wednesday afternoon, as healthy gains by financial issues were largely offset by retreating energy and materials shares.

The financial sector, which accounts for about a third of the TSX index, was up 1.03 percent, encouraged by strong domestic retail sales and better than expected U.S. corporate earnings.

Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO was ahead 0.85 percent at C$49.88, Toronto-Dominion TD.TO rose 1.29 percent to C$60.58 and Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO was up 0.37 percent at C$43.16.

"As you look to the States, for the most part earnings are coming in positive relative to expectations," said Bob Gorman, chief portfolio strategist at TD Waterhouse.

However, the heavyweight energy sector was down 0.5 percent as the price of oil dropped to around $65 a barrel. Suncor Energy SU.TO fell 0.47 percent to C$36.02, while Petro-Canada PCA.TO was down 0.26 percent at C$46.03.   Continued...