CANADA STOCKS-TSX pushes higher despite slumping banks

Fri May 27, 2011 5:47pm EDT
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   * TSX up 21.69 points, or 0.16 percent, at 13,797.59
 * Eight of the index's 10 main groups close higher
 * Royal Bank falls hard on disappointing earnings
 (Updates with details, comments)
 By Solarina Ho
 TORONTO, May 27 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
closed near a four-week high on Friday as firmer commodity
prices pushed up resource issues, overcoming a big drop in
Royal Bank of Canada.
 Gold and copper prices rose to near three-week highs,
helped by a weaker U.S. dollar, lifting the index's materials
group to a 1.05 percent gain. [GOL/] [MET/L]
 In that group, three stocks -- Kinross Gold K.TO,
diversified miner Teck Resources TCKb.TO and fertilizer
producer Potash Corp POT.TO -- were the three most
influential gainers on the index, accounting for 0.12 percent
of its rise.
 Kinross jumped 4.93 percent to C$15.76, while Teck climbed
2.38 percent to C$50.32, and Potash was up 1.15 percent at
 "All of our strength is coming basically from the metals
sector in particular," said Fred Ketchen, director of equity
trading at ScotiaMcLeod.
 The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
.GSPTSE was up 21.69 points, or 0.16 percent, at 13,797.59.
The TSX gained 1.06 percent for the week and closed at its
highest level since May 2, when it finished at 13,934.51.
 Eight of its 10 main groups were in positive territory. The
hefty financial sector and the consumer staples group were the
lone decliners.
 Financials fell 0.82 percent with Royal Bank of Canada
RY.TO, the country's largest bank, by far the biggest drag
after it reported a higher profit but fell short of analyst
expectations due to weakness in its capital markets unit.
 Royal also announced a higher dividend, but that didn't
stop its shares from falling 3.03 percent to C$57.36. RBC's
drop was 4-1/2 times more influential on the index than that of
the next biggest downside mover -- Suncor Energy SU.TO --
which was off 0.85 percent at C$40.75.
 "Here's another bank now that has increased quarterly
dividend again ... and that's what shareholders like. They'll
be back," said Ketchen.
 RBC's results came just a day after Toronto-Dominion Bank
TD.TO and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce CM.TO reported
weaker than expected profits, which also sent their shares
tumbling. [ID:nN27293256]
 Several analysts cut share-price targets on CIBC, while TD
received a pair of raises and one reduction.
 "People are a little disappointed in the (bank) results as
they've been coming out," said Michael Sprung, president of
Sprung & Co Investment Counsel. "They've been on the low end of
estimates. But overall they're not too bad. We are getting the
dividend increases that we wanted to see."
 Four of the top six decliners were banks.
 Another top decliner was Equinox Minerals EQN.TO, which
slumped 6.06 percent to C$7.60. Equinox was back in the news on
Friday following Zambia's approval for Barrick Gold to take
over the copper producer. [ID:nLDE74Q0YF] [ID:nASA028EJ]
 ($1=$0.98 Canadian)
 (Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Peter Galloway and Rob