July 27, 2009 / 2:53 PM / 10 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-Surging financials lead TSX higher

* TSX up 0.55 percent at 10,746.17

* Financials top gainers, rises 1.82 pct

* 8 of 10 most influential gainers were financials (Adds details, comments

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, July 27 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index was higher on Monday, with financials leading the way on economic recovery hopes.

Similar to Friday’s session, financials were almost single-handedly responsible for propping up the TSX index as most of the other sectors fell.

At 10:27 a.m. (1427 GMT), the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 58.27 points, or 0.55 percent, at 10,746.17. Four of the index’s 10 main groups were higher, led by a 1.82 percent gain in financials. Earlier the index had risen more than 1 percent.

The S&P/TSX 60 .TSE60 was up 0.4 percent at 651.37.

Insurers were among the most influential advancers, with Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) up 5.52 percent at C$25.99, while Sun Life (SLF.TO) rose 5.9 percent to C$36.97.

Canada’s big four life insurers now look to be better bets than either their U.S. rivals or the big Canadian banks as a surging stock market brings profits bouncing higher after three awful quarters. Most of them will report results next week. [ID:nN24387535]

However, banks also made strides on Monday, with Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) rising 1.97 percent to C$52.69, while CIBC (CM.TO) headed up 1.58 percent to C$66.74.

Eight of the 10 most influential movers higher were from the financial group.

Optimism stemming from the Bank of Canada’s declaration last week that the recession was over has given investors the green light to take out some key technical levels and has possibly cleared the way for more gains.

“The technicals point that way. The TSX/60 above 650 is quite bullish. A similar pattern with the broader market above 10,700, the recent high ... is also seen as a very good positive,” said Francis Campeau, broker at MF Global Canada, in Montreal.

“The market tone has really changed.”

Gold issues were also strong advancers as the price of the precious metal hit a 6-1/2 week high, helping to lift the materials group 0.35 percent.

$1=$1.08 Canadian Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Rob Wilson

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