TSX rallies for 6th day, helped by U.S. data
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock market index finished higher for a sixth straight session on Wednesday as rosy U.S. economic data and retreating worries about European debt lifted bank shares.
Shares of Royal Bank of Canada, the country's biggest financial institution, were up 1.38 percent at C$56.47, leading the index's gainers.
Most of the heavyweight advancers were from the financials group, including Manulife, up 1.88 percent at C$19.50, while Bank of Montreal gained 1.76 percent to C$55.60.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index finished up 49.12 points, or 0.42 percent, at 11,635.49, its highest close in a month.
Seven of the index's 10 main groups rose, led by the financials group, up 1.24 percent.
Also helping the index higher was a rekindling of risk appetite on North American stock markets after it had taken a hit recently due to concerns about the swollen debt of Greece and other euro zone countries.
"A lot of the panic that we saw late last month and at the beginning of this month seems to have receded and the focus is turning once again to corporate earnings and economic growth," said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.
Data on Wednesday showed U.S. housing starts hit their highest level in six months, while U.S. Federal Reserve data showed industrial output rose a solid 0.9 percent in January, suggesting an economic recovery was taking a firm hold as the year began. Continued...