December 22, 2009 / 9:53 PM / in 8 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends higher on financials, oils

 * TSX ends up 73.26 points at 11,627.98
 * Ahead 55 percent from March's five-year low
 (Adds details, comments and official numbers)
 By Frank Pingue
 TORONTO, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
closed higher for a second consecutive session on Tuesday as
ongoing optimism for a global economic recovery next year
lifted shares across most sectors.
 Weighty bank stocks did the bulk of the driving as shares
of Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO rose 1.4 percent to C$56.55,
while Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO gained 1.3 percent to end
the session at C$48.80.
 The banks' rally helped power the financials index, which
accounts for about a third of the TSX, to its highest level in
over two weeks.
 "There is still very much a positive sentiment that things
are improving," said Gareth Watson, Canadian equity adviser
with ScotiaMcLeod.
 "And so people are positioning themselves for 2010 saying,
'Look, it may not be as fast as people expect, but overall the
there are expectations for gains next year'."
 The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 73.26
points, or 0.63 percent, at 11,627.98.
 Another driver behind the gains came from energy stocks,
which benefited from a rise in oil prices. [O/R]
 Suncor Energy SU.TO, the biggest contributor to the
latest gain, rose 2 percent to C$36.50, while Talisman Energy
TLM.TO ended up 1.3 percent at C$19.66.
 Activity over the next two days is expected to slow to a
standstill with many investors get set to take off for the
Christmas and New Year holidays.
 The Toronto Stock Exchange will close at 1 pm. on Thursday
 (Editing by Rob Wilson)

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