Financials lead TSX to modest gain

Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:19pm EDT
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By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index ended slightly higher on Monday, led by rising financial issues, but broader investor concerns about the recovery rattled global equities and kept TSX gains in check.

The TSX held above water on strength in banking, with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: Quote) up 1.7 percent at C$51.25, and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: Quote) higher by 1.3 percent at C$58.33. National Bank of Canada (NA.TO: Quote) climbed 2 percent to C$61.22.

The broader financials group, up 0.5 percent, led the way higher as investors bought beaten-down shares, which had fallen in recent weeks the back of concerns about the global recovery.

More recently, some bank issues tumbled after reporting weak trading results, said Rick Meslin, head of Canadian equities at UBS.

"People are a little constructive now suggesting that future quarters might have some big ticket items, that the poor performance of trading revenue probably isn't going to be much of a factor in the next quarter," said Meslin.

However, Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: Quote), both to report results this week, slipped by about 0.2 percent.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished the session up 15.83 points, or 0.13 percent, at 11,895.55. Earlier, the index rose to 11,952.64, its strongest level since June 22. Half of the index's 10 main groups were higher.

The blue chip S&P/TSX 60 index closed 1.52 points higher, or 0.22 percent, at 693.85.   Continued...