CANADA STOCKS-TSX boosted by banks, US consumer confidence

Tue May 26, 2009 11:13am EDT
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* TSX swings higher after dropping nearly 1 pct at open

* Bank of Montreal results better than expected

* U.S. consumer confidence makes biggest gain in 6 years

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, May 26 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose more than 1 percent on Tuesday morning as the index's financial group strengthened on better-than-expected Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: Quote) results and U.S. consumer confidence data that showed the biggest gain in six years.

The rally in banks and the surge in U.S. consumer confidence overcame early weakness in resources that had dragged the index lower at the open.

Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: Quote) reported a 44 percent drop in quarterly profit but profit still came in slightly ahead of expectations, and prompted the financials group to rise 2.5 percent. [ID:nN26473895]

BMO rose 3.1 percent to C$42.83. It also fired up all the other major banks, with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) up 3.24 percent at C$44.01, leading all advancing index movers.

Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote) added 3 percent to C$37.89, while Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) gained 2.6 percent to C$50.34. CIBC (CM.TO: Quote) rounded out the big banks group with a 2.98 percent gain to C$57.44.   Continued...