* TSX up 130.56 points, or 1.21 percent, at 10,920.53
* Bank of Montreal results top forecasts, other banks rise
* U.S. data, Bernanke nomination supports equity strength
(Adds official closing numbers, details, quote)
By Jennifer Kwan
TORONTO, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index finished the session higher on Tuesday on strength in financial shares after Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) kicked off quarterly earnings results for Canada’s big banks with a surprisingly strong performance.
Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO), Canada’s fourth-largest bank, climbed 6.7 percent to C$52.30 after delivering results that surpassed market expectations. [ID:nN24133906]
The results, which could bode well for the rest of country’s banks this week, helped lift the hefty financials group 3.6 percent.
Large lenders were among the top 10 most influential movers of the session, led by the biggest bank, Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), which was up 4.1 percent at C$52.80. Toronto Dominion Bank (TD.TO) climbed 3.3 percent to C$65.72. Insurers were also strong performers, including Manulife Financial (MFC.TO), up 3.1 percent at C$23.09.
“The financials have been on a tear. With BMO kicking off the season with a positive tone, that’s going to drag everything else along,” said Levente Mady, market strategist at Union Securities in Vancouver.
Also helping investor sentiment was rosier-than-expected U.S. housing and consumer confidence data and news that Ben Bernanke was nominated as chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve for a second term. The latter news ended uncertainty about the central bank’s leadership as the economy climbs out of recession. [ID:nN25205751][ID:nLP233065]
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 130.56 points, or 1.21 percent, at 10,920.53, with seven of its 10 groups higher.
Firm gold prices helped to support the materials group, up 1 percent [ID:nLP167884], with Goldcorp (G.TO) up 1.8 percent at C$39.02.
$1=$1.09 Canadian Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson