December 1, 2010 / 9:39 PM / 8 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX hits 2-year high on soaring oil, banks

* TSX ends up 195.47 points, or 1.51 pct, at 13,148.35

* Index hits highest level since early September 2008

* Bank shares surge after National Bank ups dividend

* World stocks soar on easing euro fears, upbeat data (Updates to close, adds quote)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index rose to its highest level in more than two years on Wednesday as financials got a boost from a strong start to bank earnings season, while concerns about euro zone debt eased.

The market was also boosted by better-than-expected economic data in China, Europe and the United States, which whetted investors’ appetite for risk globally, boosting oil and metals prices. [MKTS/GLOB]

Top advancers on the TSX index included Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) up 2.4 percent at C$56.24, and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), which climbed 1.9 percent to C$54.22. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) gained 0.8 percent to C$75.29.

Financial shares were up 1.7 percent a day after National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) reported a jump in quarterly profit and became the first major domestic bank to resume dividend hikes in the wake of the financial crisis. It raised its dividend a hefty 6.5 percent, spurring hopes that other banks will follow suit. [ID:nN01155484]

National Bank was up 2.9 percent at C$69.82.

On euro zone debt, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said he had confidence the European Central Bank would take whatever action was needed to protect the stability of the euro. [ID:nLDE6B00QU]

Separately, a U.S. official told Reuters that Washington would support boosting an EU rescue facility via IMF funds. [ID:nLDE6B023Z]

“It’s that concerted effort towards supporting Europe that set the tone for a strong rally,” said Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada in Montreal.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 195.47 points, or 1.51 percent, at 13,148.35, chalking up its biggest percentage gain since mid-November.

At one point the index touched 13,154.42, its loftiest level since Sept. 8, 2008. All 10 of its sectors ended higher.

Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) shot up 4.5 percent to C$41.28, while Suncor Energy (SU.TO) was up 2.9 percent at C$35.39.

$1=$1.02 Canadian Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway

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