TSX end higher on resource issues, banks

Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:23pm EST
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By Cameron French

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index pared early gains but ended higher on Monday, touching its highest level in nearly 14 months as an early rally in oil prices powered energy stocks, while financials gained ground ahead of a flood of bank earnings reports.

Despite a late retreat by oil prices -- which ended marginally higher after being up as much as $2 a barrel -- the energy sector closed up 0.71 percent.

Suncor Energy rose 1.9 percent to C$38.80, while UTS Energy Corp climbed 3 percent to C$2.09.

Financials, meanwhile, gained 0.51 percent, bolstered by top players such as Royal Bank of Canada and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, as investors hoped the upcoming first-quarter reporting period would show the continued mending of the sector.

"There's still quite a bit of bullish sentiment for the banks," said Elvis Picardo, an analyst and strategist and Global Securities in Vancouver.

Royal Bank rose 1.2 percent to C$58.19, while CIBC gained 1 percent to C$68.25.

Bank of Montreal, which was the lone Canadian bank stock to fall during the session, easing 0.6 percent to C$53.55, kicks off the earnings parade on Tuesday.

All told, the S&P/TSX composite index rose 44.69 points, or 0.39 percent, to finish at 11,624.02.   Continued...

<p>A Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) logo is seen in Toronto November 9, 2007. REUTERS/Mark Blinch (CANADA)</p>