* TSX posts triple-digit gains in 5 of last 6 sessions
* Financials lead, Royal Bank launches pref share issue
* Oil sector gains despite crude retreat, materials up (Updates figures, adds details)
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index finished higher on Tuesday for a sixth straight session on strength across its three biggest sectors -- financials, energy, and materials.
The financial group shot up 3.6 percent as a third Canadian bank launched a preferred share offering this week to bolster its capital ratios and capital structure.
Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), Canada’s biggest bank, announced a C$200 million preferred share offering to bolster its capital ratios and capital structure. [ID:nN06417204]
That follows offerings on Monday from Toronto-Dominion (TD.TO) and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO). Genuity Capital Markets also raised its share-price targets for Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO), and TD, and cut its targets for Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO), Royal and National.
Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) was the biggest mover on the index for the second day in a row, up 6 percent at C$24.11.
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 2.01 percent, or 186.58 points, at 9,472.09 -- finishing with triple-digit gains in five of its last six trading days.
Eight of the index’s main 10 groups were higher, reflecting growing investor interest in noncommodity sectors as hopes for economic stimulus plans supported sentiment.
After last year’s steep selloff, sellers have reached an “exhaustion point”, said Peter Chandler, senior vice-president at Canaccord Capital in Waterloo, Ontario.
“What you’re seeing is a little bit of a broadening out of the rally as we go through what were previously technical resistance levels.”
The materials group advanced 2.01 percent. Several Canadian base metal miners hit multi-month highs as stronger prices and improving expectations for steel demand helped revive some hope for a sustained rebound in the hard-hit sector. [ID:nN06439202]
Copper miner Quadra QUA.TO was up 13.4 percent at C$4.15, while nickel miner Sherritt International (S.TO) was up 11.5 percent at C$4.45.
Oil prices slipped below $49 a barrel as weak U.S. economic data triggered a bout of profit-taking, but the heavyweight energy sector still rose 1.66 percent. Suncor Energy (SU.TO) gained 5.9 percent to C$29.02.
$1=$1.18 Canadian Additional reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Peter Galloway