April 9, 2009 / 2:11 PM / 10 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX gets boost as bank shares take off

* TSX up 171 points at 9,140.29

* Financials surge on Wells Fargo news

* Higher oil price buoys energy stocks

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, April 9 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was up nearly 2 percent on Thursday morning as weighty bank issues rallied on some upbeat news out of the U.S. banking sector, while higher oil prices buoyed energy shares.

The quick start by banks was due largely to upbeat preliminary quarterly results delivered by Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N), which fueled investor hopes that the banking sector may be headed for stability. [ID:nN09260398]

Shares of Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) were up 4.8 percent at C$46.62, while Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) was up 3.4 percent at C$39.26.

“There are probably a number of investors who are a little antsy sitting on money virtually earning them zero percent,”: said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds.

“So it’s understandable with any little bit of positive news, or news which is less bad, the market will probably take a positive take, and that encourages people who are very nervous siting on cash to do something.”

At 9:55 a.m. (1355 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 171.01 points, or 1.91 percent, at 9,140.29.

Nine of the TSX’s 10 sectors were higher, led by a 4.39 percent surge in the financial sector.

The energy group was up 2.6 percent as oil prices rallied above $52 a barrel as higher stock markets revived thoughts of an economic recovery and subsequent increased demand for commodities.

$1=$1.23 Canadian Reporting by Frank Pingue; editing by Peter Galloway

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