TSX closes higher for 6th straight session

Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:13pm EST
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index rallied to its sixth straight gain on Friday as financials surged higher on hopes that U.S. stimulus efforts unveiled this week would help boost the economy.

After adjusting more than 150 points higher minutes after the closing bell, the S&P/TSX composite index ended the day up 516.85 points, or 5.9 percent, at 9,270.62.

The TSX was up 13.7 percent for the week but down 5 percent for the month.

The financial services sector rose 11.8 percent, drawing support from buoyant U.S. stocks.

The hope is that stimulus efforts this week in the United States -- including an $800 billion lending facility by the Federal Reserve -- could signal a sustained rally, said Andrew Pyle, wealth adviser with ScotiaMcLeod in Peterborough, Ontario.

"The market really believes, I think, that was an inflection point. That provided enough support, finally, for the financial market to start some sort of recovery process," said Pyle. "There is a little more confidence in the U.S. financials."

Other factors helping lift the market included end-of-month portfolio adjustments, bargain-hunting and thin volumes with U.S. markets open only a half day after being closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday, analysts said.

The oil and gas sector rebounded to end the day up 4.1 percent as the price of oil turned positive and was up at $55.26 a barrel at 4:24 p.m. EnCana Corp rose 6.2 percent to C$60.00

Oil company Nexen, which rose sharply on Thursday on renewed takeover rumors, fell 2 percent to C$25.50.   Continued...

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