April 17, 2009 / 9:08 PM / 10 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends higher, extends gains for 6th week

* TSX adds 1 pct amid broad gains

* Financials, energy lead advances

* Investor confidence returning, analysts say (Adds details)

By Wojtek Dabrowski

TORONTO, April 17 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index finished the week on a firmly positive note on Friday, as investors shook off an $850 million writedown by Canada’s biggest bank and instead snapped up equities in a broad-based rally.

All but two of the 10 main groups in the benchmark S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE rose, including the heavyweight energy and financial sectors, which added 1.6 percent and 2.14 percent, respectively.

The broad gains came even as Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) posted the big writedown on the value of its international businesses. Regardless, Royal’s shares rose 1.9 percent to C$43.15.

“It tells you we’re in a bull market,” said Sal Masionis, a stockbroker at Brant Securities. “On bad news, the stock took it all in stride and kept on running up.”

The S&P/TSX composite added 94.28 points, or 1.01 percent, to close at 9,437.65. The TSX was up 2.7 percent on the week, marking its sixth-straight week of gains.

The S&P/TSX 60 index of Canadian blue-chips rose 1.14 percent to end at 574.04.

The resource-laden materials group was a notable loser on Friday, giving up 1.74 percent as the price of gold fell.

Major decliners included Goldcorp (G.TO), down 4 percent at C$32.72, Agnico-Eagle (AEM.TO), down 3.7 percent at C$53.00, and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), off 1.7 percent at C$33.36, .

The decline in gold could also signal that investors see less of a safe haven in bullion and are ready to again take up equities, said Elvis Picardo, analyst and strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.

“Confidence is returning,” he said. “A lot of the mindless panic we had late last year, we’ve seen a good deal of that dissipate and I think that’s a good thing for the overall sentiment in the market.”

Among the day’s biggest gainers, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) added 4 percent to finish at C$53.94. National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) rose 4.1 percent to end at C$46.43.

Insurance giant Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO) added 3.5 percent to end at C$29.09, while energy producer EnCana Corp (ECA.TO) gained 2 percent to C$55.38.

Picardo said that, given the depths to which the TSX had fallen recently — it has a year low of 7,479.96 set in early March — the latest gains are a healthy sign.

Still, he advised caution, given how quick and large the recent TSX runup has been.

“I just think one needs to be a little bit cautious at these levels,” he said. “We’re getting to the point where perhaps things are getting a little bit frothy.”

$1=$1.21 Canadian Reporting by Wojtek Dabrowski; editing by Rob Wilson

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