July 27, 2009 / 8:35 PM / in 8 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX gains for 3rd straight day on financials

* TSX up 0.65 percent at 10,757.43

* Financials top gainers, rise 2.23 pct (Adds details, comments

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, July 27 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index moved higher for a third straight session on Monday, helped by economic recovery hopes that lifted the financial group.

Similar to Friday’s session, financials were almost single-handedly responsible for propping up the TSX index -- with a healthy 2.23 percent gain -- as six of the other main sectors fell.

Steady optimism triggered last week by the Bank of Canada’s declaration that the recession was over has buoyed the financial sector, which has risen nearly 7 percent since the rosier outlook was announced. Eight of the 10 most influential gainers were from the financial group.

Insurers were among the biggest winners, with Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) up 5.72 percent at C$26.05, while Sun Life (SLF.TO) rose 8.79 percent to C$37.98.

“It’s primarily the financials. They’re putting on a good show today but the oils and the materials seem to have faded on us here,” said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities Ltd.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 69.53 points, or 0.65 percent, at 10,757.43. Earlier the index had risen more than 1 percent.

The heavyweight energy group eked out a 0.17 percent gain as prices rose amid strong U.S. homes sales data that raised optimism about a turnaround in the economy.

Materials ended lower, down 0.13 percent, unable to hold on to early gains after the price of gold hit a 6-1/2 week high.

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

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