CANADA STOCKS-TSX boosted by banks, U.S. data

Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:51am EDT
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* TSX rises 1.09 percent to 10,907.86.

* Bank of Montreal results top forecasts, other banks rise

* U.S. data supports view of stabilizing economy

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index shot higher on Tuesday morning on a positive start to this week's raft of quarterly banking results and further data pointing to a recovering U.S. economy.

Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: Quote), Canada's fourth-largest bank kicked off third-quarter earnings season for the nation's big five lenders with a surprisingly solid performance, defying investors who had spent the last week selling its shares. [ID:nN24133906].

The results bode well for the rest of country's banks this week and lifted the hefty financials group 2.54 percent. Bank of Montreal was up 5 percent at C$51.43.

All the large lenders were among the top 10 most influential movers of the session so far, led by the biggest bank, Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote), which was up 3.1 percent at C$52.25. Insurers were also strong performers, including Manulife Financial (MFC.TO: Quote), up 3 percent at C$23.06.

"Bank of Montreal surprised everyone towards the higher end of estimates," said Michael Sprung, president of Sprung & Co. Investment Counsel.   Continued...