UPDATE 3-Banks give Toronto stocks a big lift

Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:18pm EDT
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*TSX climbs 1.6 percent as banks lead

*TD jumps 5.4 percent after it raises dividend

*Lower oil prices boost wider market (Adds details, quotes)

By Leah Schnurr

TORONTO, Aug 28 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index powered to its second triple-digit gain in a row on Thursday as major banks climbed after releasing results that were not as bad as some analysts feared.

Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) was the biggest gainer by weight after it boosted its dividend, the only Canadian bank to do so this quarter.

Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO, the country's biggest bank, also jumped after it beat market expectations and took lower writedowns than many analysts had anticipated.

TD rose 5.4 percent to C$62.56, while Royal climbed 6.3 percent to C$48.13. The sector rallied 4.2 percent. See: [ID:nN27481500]

"There's a signal there for the market that people are putting a lot of this financial crisis behind them, finally," said Lex Kerkovius, senior research analyst at McLean & Partners Wealth Management Ltd. in Calgary.   Continued...