TSX gains fueled by banks, oil; golds weigh

Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:53pm EST
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By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rallied to a session high at the close, powered by strength in financials, after optimism was boosted by unexpectedly strong earnings from JPMorgan.

The heavily-weighted banking sector, up 1.76 percent, fully offset weakness among the materials group, which was dragged lower by the gold-miners for a second-straight session.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index gained 62.58 points, or 0.47 percent, to end at 13,464.06 and end the week up 1.44 percent. Eight of the index's 10 main groups were higher.

Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver, said the index was bumping up against resistance at 13,500. The index crossed briefly crossed this level twice this month, reaching its highest point in more than two years.

He said a new catalyst might be needed to push it beyond this resistance level, and perhaps it would come through earnings. Canadian results won't come in full force for a few weeks yet although several cable and media companies reported this week.

"At this point in time, investors are taking their cues from earnings reports south of the border," said Picardo.

The JPMorgan results underscored improved sentiment and lit a fire under the financial groups in Canada, as they had in U.S. stock indexes as well.

All of the big domestic banks were up and were leading heavyweight advancers, topped by Toronto Dominion Bank, up 2.82 percent at C$76.17, while Royal Bank of Canada climbed 1.78 percent to C$53.89.   Continued...

<p>People walk by a Bay Street sign inside the financial district in Toronto October 10, 2008. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>