CANADA STOCKS-TSX breaks higher, led by financials and energy

Tue Dec 1, 2015 4:52pm EST
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(Adds portfolio manager quotes, details; updates prices)

* TSX up 166.23 points, or 1.23 percent, at 13,636.06

* Seven of the TSX's 10 main groups rise

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rallied on Tuesday to its highest closing level in nearly four weeks, led by financials following stronger-than-expected earnings for two of the country's main banks, while resource stocks also gained.

Bank of Montreal rose 1.4 percent to C$78.22 after reporting higher quarterly profit and upping its dividend.

Bank of Nova Scotia also reported higher quarterly profit, but weakness in its capital markets business and an increase in bad energy loans kept optimism in check, with the stock dipping 0.1 percent to C$60.83.

Bank earnings are still moving in the right direction, according to Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier, adding that "loan losses still seem to be manageable."

The overall financials group, which accounts for more than one-third of the index's weight, climbed 1 percent.   Continued...