May 28, 2008 / 3:08 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks push higher with help from banks

(Updates to midmorning)

*Index climbs after starting lower

*Banking sector provides support

*Resources trim earlier losses

TORONTO, May 28 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index pushed higher on Wednesday morning, buoyed by strength in financials while resource shares trimmed earlier losses.

The banking sector was up 1.3 percent, with Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) up 97 Canadian cents, or 1.4 percent, at C$69.41 as investors awaited quarterly results due later in the day.

Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) recovered C$1.23, or 2.6 percent, to C$48.88 the day after it said that higher provisions for credit losses helped eat into its second-quarter profit.

“I think what we saw yesterday with BMO and Scotia was pretty much as expected,” said John Kinsey, portfolio manager at Caldwell Securities Ltd.

“Loan loss provisions were up and the capital side was down, and that was expected,” he said, adding that there appeared to be some light at the end of the tunnel in terms of the impact of the credit squeeze on Canadian banks.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 74.41 points, or 0.51 percent, at 14,596.54 after initially starting the day lower. Of its 10 main groups, eight pushed higher.

Shares of Laurentian Bank of Canada (LB.TO) were up 85 Canadian cents, or 2.1 percent, at C$42.10 shortly after it reported its second-quarter profit rose.

Sears Canada SCC.TO jumped C$1.31, or 5.6 percent, to C$24.81 after Canada’s second-biggest department store chain said its profit was lifted by a one-time gain from a property sale.

The oil and gas sector dipped 0.4 percent, but came off earlier lows as the price of oil bounced. Suncor Energy (SU.TO) was down C$1.16, or 1.7 percent, at C$66.99, and Petro-Canada PCA.TO slipped 61 Canadian cents, or 1.1 percent, to C$57.13.

Gold producers and other miners also weighed on the benchmark, while the price of gold and other resources fell. The gold subindex gave up 0.5 percent, while Kinross Gold (K.TO) was off 30 Canadian cents, or 1.5 percent, to C$19.73.

But the larger materials group was able to manage a gain of 0.4 percent. Fertilizer company Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO was among the biggest net gainers, up C$3.41, or 1.8 percent, at C$192.40. ($1=$0.99 Canadian) (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Peter Galloway)

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