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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose marginally on Thursday, helped by gains for some heavyweight bank stocks ahead of their earnings next week and rising materials stocks, while energy names slipped in line with a fall in crude oil prices.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 21.77 points, or 0.16 percent, at 13,425.19.
That was its third straight move of less than 0.2 percent, with volumes at roughly one-third typical levels with U.S. markets closed for Thanksgiving.
Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) gained 1 percent to C$60.71 and the overall financials group gained 0.3 percent as insurers also moved higher.
"Perhaps investors are trying to make a call on what those earnings (next week) will be, they're jockeying for position," said Allan Small, a senior investment advisor at HollisWealth.
"In my opinion, our banks still represent fairly good value with respect to the yields they provide," he said. "There is value there if you're a growth and income investor."
The materials group added 1.2 percent, with Goldcorp Inc (G.TO) up 1.3 percent at C$15.83, fertilizer company Potash Corp (POT.TO) up 1.3 percent at C$26.71 and base metal miner First Quantum Minerals Ltd (FM.TO) jumping 6.4 percent to C$5.12.
Copper prices CMCU3 advanced 1.9 percent to $4,636.15 a tonne. [MET/L]
Heavyweight Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc (VRX.TO) rose 2.2 percent to C$117.89.
On the negative side, a slip in crude oil prices weighed on Canada's energy producers, with the overall group falling 0.6 percent.
Brent crude LCOc1 settled down 71 cents at $45.46, after falling as low as $45 during the session. U.S. crude CLc1 prices was 53 cents lower at $42.51 a barrel. [O/R]
Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Paul Simao and Nick Zieminski