CANADA STOCKS-TSX posts third day of gains as RBC, TD climb

Thu May 22, 2014 4:56pm EDT

* TSX rises 52.43 points, or 0.36 percent, to 14,702.29
    * Six of 10 main index sectors advance
    * RBC adds 1.6 percent, TD jumps 2.6 percent

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, May 22 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
advanced for a third straight session on Thursday as shares of
Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto Dominion Bank 
climbed after the country's two biggest lenders reported
quarterly results.
    The market was also supported by comments from the Federal
Reserve on Wednesday that sought to reassure investors that the
U.S. central bank will gradually retreat from its highly
stimulative monetary policy. 
    Stronger quarterly earnings at RBC and TD helped fuel gains
in shares of other major banks and boost investor confidence in
the broader market.
    "Both Royal and TD had very strong beats today," said Ben
Jang, a portfolio manager who helps manage about C$2.5 billion
in assets at Nicola Wealth Management.
    The reports show that the overall market is improving, he
added. "When you see strength in the banks, you should see
carry-on flow with the rest of the market as well."
    RBC reported a 15 percent rise in quarterly profit, driven
by strong domestic lending volumes and capital markets revenue.
TD's quarterly profit rose 16 percent on strong Canadian and
U.S. retail lending.  
    The results were "phenomenal," said Barry Schwartz, vice
president and portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services,
which owns shares of both RBC and TD.
    "This is Goldilocks for the banks," he added. "The bears are
out dancing in the forest, and this is the time to gorge at the
free money that the central banks are giving."
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 closed up 52.43 points, or 0.36 percent, at 14,702.29.
It is up about 8 percent this year.
    "We're quite constructive on Canadian equities," said Jang,
who expects improving global economic growth to provide support
to the resource-sensitive Toronto market.
    Six of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher on
Thursday.
    Shares of energy producers edged up, with Canadian Natural
Resources Ltd rising 0.2 percent to C$44.36.
    RBC climbed 1.6 percent to C$75.46, and TD was up 2.6
percent at C$53.25. Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of
Montreal and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce 
also advanced.
    Those gains helped push financial shares, the index's most
heavily weighted sector, up 1.1 percent.

 (Editing by Dan Grebler and Chris Reese)
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