CANADA STOCKS-TSX powered higher by energy and financials

Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:22am EDT
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* TSX up 73.50 points at 9,353.45

* Energy and financials shares lead rally

* Canadian economic data aids rise (Adds details and comments)

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, April 23 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index was higher on Thursday morning as energy shares rallied on Suncor Energy's SU.TO better-than-expected quarterly results, while economic data helped improve sentiment.

The energy sector led the index higher with a 1.7 percent gain after news that Canadian oil company Suncor had a loss in the first quarter that was less steep than analysts had expected [ID:nLN617354]

Shares of Suncor rose 2.8 percent to C$30.28, while shares of Canadian Natural Resources CNQ.TO, another key energy player, were up 2 percent at C$57.82.

"You're seeing more and more signs of the economy not recovering sharply but leveling off, and that's the first sign of what you need to have a better overall market environment," said Peter Chandler, senior vice-president at Canaccord Capital in Waterloo, Ontario.

"We're seeing it in earnings, where in most cases companies are coming in and meeting or beating the lowered expectations ... and we're seeing encouraging signs in some of the data."   Continued...