CANADA STOCKS-Buoyant financials push TSX higher

Mon May 25, 2009 4:40pm EDT
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* TSX finishes up 0.76 percent at 10,069.50

* Index stays in narrow range in quiet trade

* Financials up 2.1 percent ahead of bank earnings (Adds details, quotes)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, May 25 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market index ended higher on Monday, led by the financials sector, as investors snapped up bank shares in anticipation of a healthy earnings season.

Financials climbed 2.1 percent as Canadian banks are expected to report another profitable quarter this week, defying global trends. This spring's stock market rise is seen offsetting higher loan losses and lower income from interest and fees. [ID:nN22381048] [ID:nN22511243]

Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO climbed 1 percent to C$42.65 and Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO rose 2.3 percent to C$36.79.

"Investors are feeling a little bit better about the banks," said Adrian Mastracci, portfolio manager and president at KCM Wealth Management Inc in Vancouver. "We're waiting for the bank earnings."

But despite strength in financials, there was "not a great movement one way or another," added Mastracci, noting volumes were thin due to market holidays in the United States and Britain.   Continued...