CANADA STOCKS-TSX climbs on U.S. economic data; oil shares gain

Thu Apr 2, 2015 10:47am EDT
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* TSX up 66.29 points, or 0.44 percent, at 15,008.84

* Eight of the 10 main index sectors advance

* Suncor, Canadian Natural help drive gains

By John Tilak

TORONTO, April 2 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index advanced on Thursday as shares of oil producers shrugged off a decline in crude prices, and positive U.S. economic data helped drive gains in most other sectors.

Oil prices dropped as Iran's negotiations with major global powers on its nuclear program continued, adding to uncertainty about whether it will be allowed to increase its oil exports, which would add to global oversupply.

Data showed that the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits dropped last week, indicating strength in the world's biggest economy.

The benchmark Canadian stock index, which fell in March, looked on track to end the week higher. It is up about 2.5 percent so far this year.

"The market is entering a waffling period here. I'm pretty cautious," said Douglas Davis, vice chairman at Davis-Rea.   Continued...