CANADA STOCKS-TSX helped higher by reviving financials

* S&P/TSX composite up 0.1 percent at 11,354.51

* Financials recoup some of last week’s losses

* Gold shares drop
(Adds details, quotes)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, Jan 25 (BestGrowthStock) – Toronto’s main stock index
ended little changed on Monday as beaten-down financial and
energy shares found investor interest, but falling golds
limited the gains.

Four of the country’s five biggest banks rose on Monday,
picked up by bargain-hunters after falling much of last week,
even as some uncertainty over U.S. President Barack Obama’s
plan to rein in big U.S. banks lingered.

Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: ) topped all heavyweight
gainers, rising 1.15 percent to C$62.46, while Bank of Montreal
(BMO.TO: ) rose 0.9 percent to C$52.65, and Canadian Imperial
Bank of Commerce (CM.TO: ) climbed 0.55 percent to C$64.08.

Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO: ) rallied 1.08 percent to
C$45.08 as Macquarie Equities Research upgraded Canada’s third
largest bank to “neutral” from “underperform.”[ID:nSGE60O0KP]

Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO: ) bucked the trend, and was
among the heavyweight decliners, sliding 0.32 percent to
C$52.71.

Meanwhile, Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney said in an
interview with the Financial Times that the U.S. plan for banks
must strike a balance between preventing institutions from
being “too big to fail” and the need to keep markets
functioning effectively. [ID:nN25173660]

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index
(.GSPTSE: ) closed up 11.08 points, or 0.1 percent, at 11,354.51,
with seven of its 10 main groups ending higher.

Doubts about the strength of the U.S. housing recovery
arose after a report on Monday showed U.S. existing home sales
tumbled at the fastest pace on record in December.
[ID:nN25221870] The report came close to pushing the index
into negative territory after it dropped 2.9 percent last
week.

“Last week’s selloff did seem a little bit overdone, a
little disproportionate to the overall scheme of things,” said
Elvis Picardo, an analyst and strategist at Global Securities
in Vancouver.

“After three straight days of declines, which I think were
among the worst since the rally began in March, we are seeing
buyers stepping in again and picking up some of the stocks that
were hit hardest last week.”

Energy shares and non-gold materials-sector issues were
also on the rise. Potash Corp (POT.TO: ) was up 0.72 percent at
C$116.13, and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO: ) was up 0.74
percent at C$70.32.

Gold rose to near $1,100 an ounce as the U.S. dollar eased
broadly and renewed physical and safe-haven buying helped
support prices, but investor sentiment stayed wary. [GOL/]

Gold producers were unable to benefit from bullion’s rise.
They were among the weakest heavyweight movers, led down by
Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: ), which dropped 1.53 percent to C$38.07.

Gareth Watson, an equity advisor at ScotiaMcLeod, said that
lacking any real catalyst in Canada to move the market
significantly, investors are looking ahead to November GDP data
for Canada and the first U.S. Federal Open Market Committee
meeting of the new year, both later in the week.

Shares of home improvement chain Rona (RON.TO: ) settled 0.36
percent higher at C$16.62, after earlier touching its highest
since February 2008. The company said it plans to boost
earnings per share by 10 percent to 15 percent over the next
two years. [ID:nN25166554]

($1=$1.06 Canadian)
(Editing by Peter Galloway)

CANADA STOCKS-TSX helped higher by reviving financials