CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises in sluggish trade as banks gain

Mon May 26, 2014 11:06am EDT

* TSX up 21.87 points, or 0.15 percent, at 14,729.97
    * Nine of the10 main index sectors advance
    * RBC, TD are the biggest heavyweight gainers

    By John Tilak
    TORONTO, May 26 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index
climbed on gains in financial shares on Monday, but volumes were
weak with the U.S. market closed for the Memorial Day holiday.
    The 33 million shares that had changed hands at midmorning
compared with an average daily volume of about 301 million
shares in April, according to Thomson Reuters data and figures
from market operator TMX Group.
    "It's a very quiet day. There's not a lot of volume. You're
not getting much impetus," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager
at ABC Funds.
    "The worldwide economic situation is on track but at a slow
and measured pace," he added.
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 was up 21.87 points, or 0.15 percent, at 14,729.97. It
has climbed more than 8 percent this year and has outperformed
the S&P 500 so far in 2014.
    "The Toronto stock market will be a surprise winner this
year," Michael said. "We think it will outdo the U.S. market and
commodity prices will do better."
    Investors were digesting news of strong election
performances by pro-European forces in Italy and Germany, while
nationalist, Euroskeptic parties triumphed in France and
Britain.  
    Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
    Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, added
0.3 percent. Toronto-Dominion Bank advanced 0.6 percent
to C$53.71, and Royal Bank of Canada gained 0.4 percent
to C$75.61. The two stocks had the biggest positive influence on
the market.
    The materials sector, which includes mining stocks, edged
up. Teck Resources Ltd climbed 1.3 percent to C$25.69,
and Barrick Gold Corp rose 0.5 percent to C$18.04.
    In corporate news, a Sun Life Financial executive
said the company is boosting investment in Indonesia and
Malaysia at a time when growth in earnings from some core Asian
markets has slowed. The stock added 0.2 percent to C$36.85.
 
    ($1=$1.09 Canadian)

 (Editing by Peter Galloway)
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