CANADA STOCKS-Bank rally drives TSX to higher close

Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:24pm EDT
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* TSX rises 33.91 points to 10,389.76

* Banks get credit for higher close

* TSX ends week with 0.99 percent gain (Adds details, comments and official numbers)

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, June 26 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index followed its heavyweight financial shares to a higher close on Friday, helped by U.S. data that offered further evidence that recession may be losing its grip on the economy.

The financial sector, which accounts for about a third of the index, rose 1.85 percent to its highest closing level since early November after data showed U.S. consumer spending rose in May for the first time since February. [ID:nSP432665]

Shares of Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO, the biggest driver behind the gain, rose 3.3 percent to C$60.57, while Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO shares ended up 2.2 percent at C$47.54.

"My sense is that it's a response to the positive U.S. data this morning," said Kate Warne, Canadian market strategist at Edward Jones in St. Louis, Missouri.

"The fact that consumers in the States have actually made a very rapid adjustment to this new environment suggests to me that we will see consumers spending at a pretty normal pace."   Continued...