* TSX up 119.68 points at 11,501.81
* Energy shares power early TSX gain
* Bank shares also help fuel rally (Adds details and comments)
By Frank Pingue
TORONTO, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was up more than 1 percent on Monday morning with firm oil prices helping to push up Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) and its oil company peers.
Shares of Canadian Natural Resources rose 2 percent to C$75.92, while Suncor Energy (SU.TO) shares were up 2 percent at C$39.17. The two companies were the biggest drivers behind the index’s early gain.
The rise in the energy sector came as the price of oil bounced off earlier lows to move back above $81 a barrel. [O/R]
Heavyweight bank shares also helped power the TSX’s higher start after Genuity Capital raised its share-price target on all of Canada’s Big Five banks. [RCH/CA]
Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) rose 0.5 percent to C$56.41, while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) shares rallied 0.4 percent to C$65.20.
The TSX’s higher start follows a triple-digit skid in Friday’s session, when lower commodity prices weighed on the resource-heavy index.
So far, the TSX has managed to steer clear of the selloff that some investors called for back in September and that is luring investors in from the sidelines.
“People who were very bearish and wanting to buy on weakness might be second-guessing and saying maybe we should commit some money,” said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds.
“So there are maybe a few investors, institutional-wise, that would like to commit some money to the marketplace given that we haven’t seen the massive selloff that people were expecting.”
At 10:05 a.m. (1405 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 119.68 points, or 1.05 percent, at 11,501.81.
($1=$1.05 Canadian) (Editing by Peter Galloway)