June 29, 2009 / 9:07 PM / 10 years ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX ends higher, "window dressing" aids banks

* TSX rises 87.01 points to 10,476.77

* Quarter-end “window dressing” aids rise

* Energy shares boosted by oil prices (Adds details)

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO, June 29 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index ended higher on Monday as a rise in oil prices fueled energy shares while banks rallied as investors spruced up their portfolios ahead of the end of the quarter.

Canadian banks were among the key drivers behind the TSX’s rally, and analysts said this was largely due to end-of-quarter “window dressing”, when portfolio managers sell stocks with big losses and buy the quarter’s better-performing issues to help improve their returns.

Shares of Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) rose 2.4 percent to C$48.69, followed by Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), whose shares closed up 2.8 percent at C$44.24. The TSX index’s financial group ended up 1.7 percent.

“You don’t want to have too much cash and at the same time you want to be prudent, so when it comes to buying things, the banks paying decent dividends are probably where people want to go,” said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds.

“People want to have a little money in the marketplace so they are buying the safer stocks. But the market is very thin and moves can be extremely exaggerated in this environment.”

The index’s energy sector ended the session up 1.4 percent, helped largely by the price of oil, which rallied more than 3 percent on reports of rebel attacks on an oil facility in Nigeria and hopes for an economic rebound. [ID:nN29393310]

Shares of Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) rose 2 percent to C$60.91, while EnCana Corp (ECA.TO) ended up 1.3 percent at C$57.56.

The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE rose 87.01 points, or 0.84 percent, to 10,476.77 after last week’s 1 percent rise. The TSX is up 20 percent in the second quarter with just one session to go before the quarter ends.

Also helping investor sentiment was a rally in global stocks on optimism about a stronger outlook for euro zone economies.

Trading for the rest of the holiday-shortened week is expected to be muted but moves could be exaggerated by thin liquidity. The TSX will be closed on Wednesday, July 1, for Canada Day, while U.S. markets will be closed on Friday, July 3, for Saturday’s July 4 Independence Day holiday.

Among stocks that helped to limit the TSX’s rally was Gildan Activewear (GIL.TO), whose shares fell 9.6 percent to C$16.82 after the T-shirt maker said it would halt operations for two weeks at some of its plants in Honduras to control inventory. [ID:N29390621]

$1=$1.16 Canadian Editing by Peter Galloway

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