CANADA STOCKS-TSX jumps on Scotiabank results, China spending

Tue Mar 5, 2013 11:36am EST
 
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* TSX rises 102.81 points, or 0.81 percent, to 12,810.22
    * Nine of 10 main sectors advance
    * Potash Corp gains nearly 2 percent, lifts materials

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, March 5 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose
on Tuesday, boosted by a jump in profit and a dividend increase
by Bank of Nova Scotia and by China's announcement of
record government spending this year, which helped lift
commodity prices.
     Along with China's spending plans, which were expected to
sustain the country's economic growth, the market was encouraged
 by signs that the world's top central banks are likely to stick
to their easy monetary policies. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones
industrial average surged to a record high on Tuesday, breaking
through levels last seen in 2007.ž
    "There's a bit of a snap-back in the market. It's a reaction
to the downward pressure we've seen lately," said Michael
Sprung, president of Sprung Investment Management.
    "Investors are trying to cautiously look for places to come
back into the market," he added.
     The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 102.81 points, or 0.81 percent, at 12,810.22.
Nine of its 10 main sectors were higher. The index had fallen in
the two previous sessions.
     Scotiabank, Canada's third biggest lender, said quarterly
profit rose 13 percent, driven by acquisitions at home and
abroad. Its shares were up 1.2 percent at C$61.62.
 
    Its results capped off a week of stronger-than-expected
quarterly reports from Canada's top banks, which in many cases
used lower loan-loss provisions, cost-cutting, and stronger
international revenue to offset slower growth in domestic
consumer lending.  
    "The banks have shown themselves to be pretty good financial
shape from the capital point of view. They expressed some
confidence in that by increasing their dividends," Sprung said.
    Scotiabank raised its dividend by 5 percent, following
similar increases by most of the country's Big Six banks.
    Financials, the index's weightiest sector, were up 0.7
percent. In the sector, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
 rose 0.9 percent to C$83.70, and Toronto-Dominion Bank 
 gained 0.4 percent to C$85.42.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, was up 
1.1 percent, with fertilizer producer Potash Corp 
rising 1.9 percent to C$41.02.