CANADA STOCKS-TSX advance supported by energy, BMO results

Wed May 26, 2010 5:05pm EDT
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* TSX up 25.82 pts, or 0.22 percent, at 11,543.90

* Bank of Montreal earnings help lift financials

* Three of 10 TSX sectors rise (Updates to close, adds quotes)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, May 26 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index ended slightly higher on Wednesday thanks to strength in energy shares and healthy earnings at Bank of Montreal BMO.TO.

Bank of Montreal's forecast-topping results kicked off the quarterly earnings season for Canadian banks, and its stock rose 2.6 percent to C$60.26.

That helped the TSX financial group finish up 0.8 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO gaining 0.8 percent to C$59.47, and Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO up 1 percent at C$72.80.

"We've seen some good earnings from BMO, which pretty much helped the whole financial sector," said Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada in Montreal.

Smaller Laurentian Bank of Canada LB.TO reported a 34 percent jump in profit, in line with expectations, as higher revenues offset a rise in loan losses.   Continued...