October 22, 2009 / 8:37 PM / 8 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-Financials lead TSX to higher close

 * TSX finishes up 0.8 percent at 11,533.37
 * Banks most influential climbers, sector up 1.5 percent
 * BoC says economy recovering, but faces hurdles
 (Updates to close with additional details, prices)
 By Ka Yan Ng
 TORONTO, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index
finished higher on Thursday as investor optimism buoyed
financial issues after the Bank of Canada said the domestic
economy is recovering faster than expected.
 But the central bank, which fleshed out its upgraded growth
forecasts for the third and fourth quarters, also cautioned the
economy faces a number of risks, including a weak U.S. economy
and a Canadian dollar that seems set to stay strong.
 Nonetheless, investors took the opportunity to pile into
banks and insurance issues, with all five big Canadian banks in
the top 10 notable advancers and each gaining close to 2
percent or more.
 The charge higher was led by Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO,
up 2.4 percent at C$65.72, followed by Royal Bank of Canada
RY.TO, up 1.7 percent at C$56.57.
 "The move up is being led by financials. They are the major
beneficiaries of the the Bank of Canada's Monetary Policy
Report today," said Elvis Picardo, an analyst and strategist at
Global Securities in Vancouver.
 "It gives the market confidence to know that the bank is
endorsing the economic recovery. Financial stocks are heavily
leveraged to the Canadian economy."
 The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE finished 91.35
points higher, or 0.8 percent, at 11,533.37, reversing losses
at the start of the day.
 On the flipside, oil prices fell from a one-year high [O/R]
and weighed on some energy shares, with Suncor Energy SU.TO,
the biggest drag on the index. It fell 1.2 percent to C$39.20,
while fellow oil company Husky Energy HSE.TO dropped 5.1
percent to C$30.95.
 Potash Corp POT.TO recovered after investors punished the
stock when the fertilizer producer reported a lower quarterly
profit. The stock ended at C$108.08, up 0.73 percent.
 (Editing by Rob Wilson)

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