May 25, 2009 / 8:41 PM / 10 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-Buoyant financials push TSX higher

* TSX finishes up 0.76 percent at 10,069.50

* Index stays in narrow range in quiet trade

* Financials up 2.1 percent ahead of bank earnings (Adds details, quotes)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, May 25 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock market index ended higher on Monday, led by the financials sector, as investors snapped up bank shares in anticipation of a healthy earnings season.

Financials climbed 2.1 percent as Canadian banks are expected to report another profitable quarter this week, defying global trends. This spring’s stock market rise is seen offsetting higher loan losses and lower income from interest and fees. [ID:nN22381048] [ID:nN22511243]

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) climbed 1 percent to C$42.65 and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) rose 2.3 percent to C$36.79.

“Investors are feeling a little bit better about the banks,” said Adrian Mastracci, portfolio manager and president at KCM Wealth Management Inc in Vancouver. “We’re waiting for the bank earnings.”

But despite strength in financials, there was “not a great movement one way or another,” added Mastracci, noting volumes were thin due to market holidays in the United States and Britain.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 76.08 points, or 0.76 percent, at 10,069.50, with seven of its 10 main groups higher.

Materials fell 0.3 percent, industrials slipped 0.6 percent and the health care group fell 0.2 percent.

With trend-setting U.S. and British markets closed, trading on the TSX was thin at around 220 million shares. The year-to-date average daily volume is just above 500 million shares, according to exchange operator TMX Group (X.TO).

$1=$1.13 Canadian Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; editing by Rob Wilson

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