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article imageTSX nears three-year high on Ukraine relief, Enbridge

    Mar 4, 2014 in Business

By John Tilak

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index advanced on Tuesday, with gains in almost every major sector, after comments by Russian President Vladimir Putin helped ease concerns that military conflict in Ukraine was imminent.

Providing further support, shares of Bank of Nova Scotia <BNS.TO> climbed after the lender reported higher quarterly earnings and raised its dividend.

While Putin defended Russia's actions in Crimea, global markets took comfort from his statement that military force would be the last resort in Russia's dealings with Ukraine.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index <.GSPTSE> was up 66.03 points, or 0.46 percent, at 14,278.77. The index is up about 4.8 percent so far in 2014.

"It's been a bit of a rebound," said Sadiq Adatia, chief investment officer at Sun Life Global Investments. "The appetite is there to take on more equity risk."

"People do want to buy equities, given that (interest) rates are going to be more difficult to predict going forward," he added.

All of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.

Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, rose 0.6 percent. Toronto-Dominion Bank <TD.TO> advanced 0.8 percent to C$50.33, and Scotiabank added 0.5 percent to C$63.33.

Scotiabank reported a 6 percent rise in quarterly profit on the back of recent acquisitions and higher lending volumes, and it increased its quarterly dividend.

In other corporate news, Enbridge Inc <ENB.TO> said it would undertake a C$7 billion replacement program in the mainline pipeline system running between Edmonton, Alberta, and Superior, Wisconsin. The stock jumped nearly 2 percent to C$47.

Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc <VRX.TO> rose 1.3 percent to C$160.80, and were a major factor in the index's advance.

($1=$1.11 Canadian)

(Editing by Peter Galloway)

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