April 13, 2009 / 9:35 PM / 10 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises for third session, buoyed by banks

* TSX finishes up 1.07 percent at 9,285.62

* Market focus on this week’s quarterly U.S. bank reports

* Energy sector fights back after taking hit from oil drop (Adds details)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, April 13 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index rose 1 percent on Monday to finish higher for a third straight session with financial issues buoyed by optimism that quarterly U.S. bank results this week will show the sector has stabilized after being shaken hard in the global financial crisis.

Bets that the U.S. financial group will post reassuring results pushed up the main Toronto index’s financial sector 2 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) rose 2.58 percent to C$40.60.

Among other top gainers were Toronto Dominion Bank (TD.TO), up 2.46 percent at C$47.90, and Manulife Financial (MFC.TO), up 2.59 percent at C$18.98.

“We’re kind of back in the mentality that the first-quarter earnings, at least on the financial side, are going to be fairly good. Step one is to try to get some solid earnings in that sector,” said Andrew Pyle, a wealth advisor at ScotiaMcLeod in Peterborough, Ontario.

He said that if U.S. banks report positive results, then that will suggest that credit conditions overall have probably started to improve, as well as the availability and access to capital.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 98.50 points, or 1.07 percent, at 9,285.62. Earlier it hit 9,310.89, its highest level since Jan. 7. The 2009 high is 9,505.72.

Seven of the index’s 10 main sectors advanced, including the hefty energy and materials groups, which make up about 40 percent of the TSX’s weighting.

“Canada’s got the best of both worlds. You got the financials and all the resources kicking in,” said Pyle. “So the litmus test now will be adding on to this week because now we’re less than 200 points from the high we saw in January.”

The energy sector was also on the move higher as the price of oil pared early losses. Crude oil skidded after the International Energy Agency cut its forecast for oil demand deeply. [ID:nSP462067]

The oil group fought back after the early weakness brought on by the IEA outlook, finishing the session up 0.53 percent.

In the oil patch, Total SA (TOTF.PA) boosted its hostile takeover offer for UTS Energy UTS.TO by more than a third to C$1.75 a share, though its sweetened offer was quickly branded as inadequate by some of the Canadian oil sands developer’s biggest shareholders. [ID:nN13368594]

Gold briefly rose above $900 an ounce in thin holiday trade, helping to spur the materials group to rise 2.02 percent. [ID:nN13369166]

The sector leaders included Goldcorp (G.TO), which rose 1.8 percent to C$36.80, while Potash Corp POT.TO gained 2.3 percent to C$107.44.

Meanwhile, shares of mining and energy company Sherritt International (S.TO) rose nearly 25 percent, after reports that the U.S. government plans to ease some of its restrictions that curb investments in Cuba. [ID:nN13409505]

The S&P/TSX 60 index rose 0.94 percent to 565.39.

$1=$1.22 Canadian Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson

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