CANADA STOCKS-Fed optimism lifts TSX, energy and bank shares lead
* TSX rises 90.62 points, or 0.74 percent, to 12,277.96 * Eight of 10 main index sectors advance * Brookfield climbs after asset sales By John Tilak TORONTO, June 17 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index shot higher on Monday, paced by strong gains in its energy and financial sectors as investors hoped this week's U.S. Federal Reserve meeting would reconfirm support for the central bank's easy monetary policy. The rise was a recovery from the index's 1.5 percent loss last week but the index remained in negative territory for the year. As with global equity markets, Toronto stocks have been hit in recent weeks by fears the Fed will soon start scaling down its quantitative easing program, under which it buys $85 billion a month in bonds. But markets on Monday turned optimistic that the Fed will affirm its commitment to supporting U.S. economic recovery at its two-day meeting, which ends Wednesday. "I don't think anybody is expecting anything different from the Fed" said Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod. "People are feeling better. A little bit of confidence is slowly back up in our market," he added. "We might have overdone it on the downside, and it's time to equal that now and show some response to modest economic growth." Data showing German wages rose at their fastest pace in almost four years at the start of 2013 and euro zone exports jumped in April lifted hopes that Europe was recovering from recession. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 90.62 points, or 0.74 percent, at 12,277.96. Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher. Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, were up 0.9 percent. In the group, Royal Bank of Canada, the country's biggest lender, gained 1.2 percent to C$60.71 and played the biggest role of any single stock in leading the market higher. Brookfield Asset Management Inc shares were up 1.8 percent, at C$36.60. Brookfield said on Sunday it will sell its Longview Timber holdings in the U.S. Pacific Northwest to Weyerhaeuser Co for $2.65 billion, including assumption of debt, and will sell a nearby paper and packaging business to KapStone Paper and Packaging Corp for $1.025 billion. Shares of energy companies were up 1 percent. They gained as a deepening Syrian conflict fueled a rise in the price of oil. Suncor Energy Inc added 1 percent to C$31.27. Shares of gold miners slipped with falling bullion prices.
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