CANADA STOCKS-Bank shares boost TSX ahead of earnings

Tue May 24, 2016 5:22pm EDT
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* TSX up 33.27 points, or 0.24 percent, at 13,952.85

* Nine of the TSX's 10 main groups were higher (Adds strategist quote, updates prices)

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO, May 24 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index closed higher on Tuesday as strength in the financial sector ahead of the bank earnings season helped overcome a slump in shares of gold miners.

The TSX, which also received support from the energy group, hit a seven-month high earlier in the session.

The index pushed above the 14,000 threshold for the first time since October, as trading resumed after the Victoria Day holiday on Monday. It has rebounded 21 percent from its almost 3-1/2-year low of 11,531.22 in January.

Financials rallied as banks were among the biggest gainers on Wall Street on speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve might hike interest rates in June.

Royal Bank of Canada rose 0.9 percent to C$78.52, and Bank of Nova Scotia advanced 1.1 percent to C$63.76, while the overall financials group was up 1.2 percent.

Canada's biggest banks are expected to set aside more funds to cover bad loans to the oil and gas sector when they announce second-quarter results this week.   Continued...