Canada's main stock index rose on Monday as oil price gains helped oil and gas companies offset weakness in other sectors, while financials, another index heavyweight, also provided support.

Suncor Energy Inc and Enbridge Inc were among the most influential movers on the index. Suncor rose 1.0 percent to C$40.52, while Enbridge advanced 1.2 percent to C$65.6.

The overall energy group climbed 0.9 percent, helped by a 2.2 percent rise in U.S. crude prices to $56.95, and Brent crude, which added 1.0 percent to $64.1.

Philip Petursson, a portfolio advisory group analyst at Manulife Asset Management, said the group was seeing some residual moves from last week's crude price gains continuing.

"(Energy) hasn't been a big bet at this point," said Petursson, but he believes production will tighten in the second half of this year.

"I think that makes a number of energy names attractive... it might be little bit ahead of itself now. But if you're patient and have a 12 to 24-month window, I think energy is one of the more interesting sectors in the Canadian space."

At 11:14 a.m. EDT (1514 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 74.30 points, or 0.48 percent, to 15,434.85.

Of the index's 10 main groups, half were in positive territory.

Financials were up 0.5 percent. Toronto Dominion Bank was another influential mover, up 0.54 percent to C$56.05.

"One thing we've seen over the last week and change is the steepening of the yield curve in Canada ... That helps the banks a little bit," said Petursson.

Gold miners were among the biggest drags, as gold futures fell 0.7 percent to $1,194.4.

Goldcorp Inc fell 1.9 percent to C$23.75. Barrick Gold Corp slid 1.6 percent to C$15.37.

Canadian National Railway, which will report first-quarter results after markets close on Monday, was up 1.00 percent at C$40.52 and one of the biggest gainers.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the TSX by a 1.43-to-1 ratio.
Source: Reuters

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