CANADA STOCKS-Banks lead broad TSX gains ahead of Fed decision

Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:03am EDT
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* TSX up 54.57 points, or 0.41 percent, at 13,426.41
    * Several banks have hit record highs recently

    By Alastair Sharp
    TORONTO, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was
higher in a broad rally led by banks on Tuesday as the U.S.
Federal Reserve was set to begin a two-day policy meeting that
was widely expected to conclude with it leaving its monetary
stimulus program intact.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 has gained almost 6 percent in the past three weeks
and is at its highest level in more than two years.
    Given that the resource-rich Canadian index has lagged U.S.
stock indexes in recent years, investors seemed confident that
it can keep rising as the corporate earnings season hits high
gear. It was up 54.57 points, or 0.41 percent, at 13,426.41 at
midmorning on Tuesday.
    "Generally speaking, the tone remains in a more upbeat phase
going into the earnings period," said Sid Mokhtari, market
technician and director of institutional equity research at CIBC
World Markets. "The assumptions should still be viewed
    Expectations that the Fed will continue to apply stimulus to
the U.S. economy combined with signs of renewed strength in
Canada's housing sector have pushed several bank stocks to
record highs in recent weeks.
    Toronto-Dominion Bank gained 0.8 percent to C$94.93,
Bank of Nova Scotia was up 0.6 percent at C$63.23, and
Royal Bank of Canada, the country's largest lender,
added 0.3 percent to C$69.82.
    Talisman Energy Inc gained 3.1 percent to C$13.30
after activist investor Carl Icahn said he had increased his
stake in the oil producer. 
    Thomson Reuters Corp was up 2.6 percent after
reporting net sales in its financial business turned positive
and that it planned to cut 3,000 jobs.