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UPDATE 1-Canadian insurers Manulife, Sun Life beat earnings forecasts

(Adds Sun Life earnings)

TORONTO, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Two of Canada's biggest insurance companies on Wednesday reported second-quarter earnings that beat market expectations, benefiting in part from strong growth in Asia.

Canada's biggest insurer Manulife Financial Corp on Wednesday said earnings per share, excluding one-off items, were C$0.53 in the third quarter to Sept. 30, compared with C$0.49 in the same period the year before.

Analysts had, on average, forecast earnings per share, excluding one-off items, of C$0.52, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data.

Sun Life Financial reported earnings per share, excluding one-off items, of C$1.05 in the third quarter to Sept. 30, compared with C$1.04 in the same period the year before.

Analysts had, on average, forecast earnings, excluding one-off items, of C$1.01 Canadian cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data.

(Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Chris Reese)