* TSX finishes up 0.8 percent at 11,533.37
* Banks the top climbers, sector up 1.5 percent
* Energy trusts big gainers on back of Harvest deal
* BoC says economy recovering, but faces hurdles (Adds details)
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.
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.”
In its report, which fleshed out its upgraded growth forecasts for the third and fourth quarters, the Bank of Canada cautioned the economy faces a number of risks, including a weak U.S. economy and a Canadian dollar that seems set to stay strong. [ID:nN22502163]
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. Nine of the index’s 10 main groups were higher.
Consumer shares were supported by further evidence that the economy is crawling towards recovery as Canadian retail sales posted better than expected gains in August, data showed. [ID:nN22538286]
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.
But oil trusts performed strongly, helping the overall oil and gas sector move up 0.5 percent, on the back of a C$1.8 billion deal that will see Korea National Oil Corp take control of Harvest Energy Trust HTE_u.TO. [ID:nSP454119] [ID:nN226427]
It was the latest in a series of acquisitions of Canadian assets by Asian state companies, and prompted rallies in other trusts. Harvest led the way with a 34.11 percent surge to C$9.79, while Penn West Energy Trust PWT_u.TO gained 9.2 percent to C$19.04, and Provident Energy Trust PVE_u.TO jumped 6.5 percent to C$7.05.
Potash Corp POT.TO recovered after investors punished the fertilizer producer for reporting a lower quarterly profit. The stock ended at C$108.08, up 0.73 percent. [ID:nN22505738]
Picardo said Potash’s rebound was an example of recent investor behavior.
“There is a lot of money on the sidelines and investors are getting in on the dips,” he said. ($1=$1.05 Canadian) (Editing by Peter Galloway)