CANADA STOCKS-TSX rally pushes on with aid of banks, miners

Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:46pm EDT
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(Adds analyst comment, updates prices to close)

* TSX ends up 85.66 points, or 0.60 percent, at 14,468.44

* Index gained 3.3 pct on week; off 0.6 pct in July

By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO, July 31 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index notched its fourth straight day of gains on Friday, with the heavily weighted financials and materials sectors leading the way as investors sought value after a bleak couple of months.

The index had slipped below 14,000 for the first time since mid-January last week, as investors fretted about slumping oil prices and slowing Chinese demand for commodities.

It fell 0.6 percent in July, after a 3 percent decline in June.

But banking stocks shook off those fears, coupled with short bets that a stretched housing market could hurt them, gaining 0.4 percent.

"The whole 'shorting Canada' is usually a short-term phenomena, because let's face it, our financial sector has been a great place to be invested over the long term," said Julie Brough, vice president at Morgan Meighen & Associates.   Continued...