CANADA STOCKS-TSX advance supported by energy, BMO results

* TSX up 25.82 pts, or 0.22 percent, at 11,543.90

* Bank of Montreal earnings help lift financials

* Three of 10 TSX sectors rise
(Updates to close, adds quotes)

By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO, May 26 (BestGrowthStock) – Toronto’s main stock index
ended slightly higher on Wednesday thanks to strength in energy
shares and healthy earnings at Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO: ).

Bank of Montreal’s forecast-topping results kicked off the
quarterly earnings season for Canadian banks, and its stock
rose 2.6 percent to C$60.26.

That helped the TSX financial group finish up 0.8 percent,
with Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: ) gaining 0.8 percent to
C$59.47, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: ) up 1 percent at
C$72.80.

“We’ve seen some good earnings from BMO, which pretty much
helped the whole financial sector,” said Francis Campeau,
broker at MF Global Canada in Montreal.

Smaller Laurentian Bank of Canada (LB.TO: ) reported a 34
percent jump in profit, in line with expectations, as higher
revenues offset a rise in loan losses.

However, shares in Laurentian ended the day down 0.6
percent at C$42.81.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index
(.GSPTSE: ) finished the day up 25.82 points, or 0.22 percent, at
11,543.90, though off its session high of 11,723.88. Three of
the index’s 10 main groups were higher.

“Major indices across the board have sort of had a dead-cat
bounce or have seen some oversold territories. They’re coming
back in line,” said Campeau, who added that short-covering
likely helped the index end higher.

The TSX lost steam late in the session and briefly stepped
into negative territory before quickly bouncing back to end the
day higher.

“There’s still a lot of uncertainty in the market,” said
Jennifer Radman, vice president and associate portfolio manager
at Caldwell Investment Ltd, but stressed the fundamentals of
the market are strong.

Radman said much of the uncertainty stems from persistent
worries that the euro zone debt crisis will spread and hamper
economic growth in Europe and globally. [MKTS/GLOB] [FRX/]

Still, some commodity-related issues pushed higher on
prospects for rising demand. Oil climbed above $71 a barrel,
helping to lift the energy sector up by 0.7 percent.[O/R]

Suncor Energy (SU.TO: ) was up 0.1 percent at C$30.69, while
Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: ) rose 1.4 percent to
C$34.77.

Utilities was the third TSX group to end higher, gaining
0.5 percent.

The blue chip S&P/TSX 60 index (.TSE60: ) closed 0.17 points
lower, or 0.02 percent, at 679.85.

Stock  Maket Basics

($1=$1.07 Canadian)
(Editing by Rob Wilson)

CANADA STOCKS-TSX advance supported by energy, BMO results