March 16, 2009 / 3:11 PM / 10 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX higher as bank optimism builds

* TSX index rises 1.13 percent to 8,397.29

* Financial sector up 2.9 percent

* Rogers shares up on report company has chosen CEO (Adds details, quotes)

TORONTO, March 16 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index rose more than 1 percent on Monday morning on strength in financial issues, which climbed on hope of stabilization in the world banking industry.

Toronto’s financial sector was up 2.9 percent, with Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) rising 3.6 percent to C$42.67, and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) up 2.1 percent at C$36.20.

The sector was supported by news that Britain’s Barclays Bank (BARC.L) said it had a strong start to the year. [ID:nLG308800] Last week, Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase offered reassuring statements about their profitability [ID:nLG518010].

Gavin Graham, director of investments at BMO Asset Management, said the Barclays statement builds on what the U.S. banks said last week, which fueled some big market gains.

“What you’re seeing is after what was a fairly strong period last week for both commodities and financials, this morning, you’re seeing a bit of a disparity,” he said.

The energy sector was down 0.1 percent on Monday morning as oil prices fell on disappointment that OPEC did not drop output targets [ID:nSYD484176]. EnCana Corp (ECA.TO) dropped 0.6 percent to C$49.30.

The materials group, which started the day out lower, gained 0.6 percent with Goldcorp (G.TO) up 0.5 percent at C$38.03.

At 10:31 a.m. (1431 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 93.90 points, or 1.13 percent, at 8,397.29. Eight of its 10 main groups were higher.

Rogers Communications Inc (RCIb.TO), which owns Canada’s biggest wireless phone carrier, was up 6.2 percent at C$30.05.

The Globe and Mail, citing a source close to the situation, reported that Rogers has decided to name Nadir Mohamed its chief executive. The decision, which has been finalized internally, could possibly be made public in a week or two, the Globe said. [ID:nBNG426363]

$1=$1.27 Canadian Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Peter Galloway

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