CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as heavyweight financial shares climb

Fri Feb 3, 2017 11:41am EST
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(Updates prices)

* TSX up 96.58 points, or 0.63 percent, at 15,495.69

* Nine of the TSX's 10 main groups gain

TORONTO, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Friday, led by heavyweight financial and energy shares as oil rose and investors weighed a much stronger-than-expected increase in U.S. nonfarm payrolls.

Gains for financials came as the possibility of simpler U.S. bank regulations drove up U.S. bank stocks. Many large Canadian banks have sizable operations in the United States.

Royal Bank of Canada rose 1 percent to C$94.63, while the overall financials group gained nearly 1 percent.

U.S. job growth surged more than expected in January but a smaller-than-expected increase in wages may reduce pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in the near term.

Gold prices rose as a weaker case for near-term interest rate hikes pressured the U.S. dollar, while U.S. crude prices were up 0.7 percent to $53.91 a barrel as investors weighed the possibility of new sanctions on Iran.

The increase in oil prices helped push energy stocks 0.2 percent higher, with Suncor Energy Inc climbing 1.1 percent to C$40.95.   Continued...