* TSX rises 0.97 percent to end at 11,200.17
* Energy, financial sectors rise, but gold drags (Adds details)
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO, July 6 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index ended higher on Tuesday, bouncing back from its lowest close in eight months on Monday, as calmer sentiment prevailed after several weeks of decline, spurring a rally in the key energy and financial groups.
On the leaderboard, Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) added 3.28 percent to C$70.18, and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) gained 2.39 percent to C$52.37. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) climbed 2.35 percent to C$34.81, while Suncor Energy (SU.TO) rose 1.56 percent to C$31.23.
Investors scooped up bargains on recently sold-off stocks after signs of strength in Europe’s banking system and a rally in world equity markets provided relief from recent gloom. Firmer commodity prices also encouraged buying.
The index held onto gains despite U.S. data that showed the pace of expansion in non-manufacturing activity in June was the slowest since February. [ID:nN06102990]
“We saw pretty much across the board the assets that traders like to buy when they’re feeling comfortable were all moving up, like crude oil, natural gas, and the Canadian dollar,” said Aaron Fennell, senior markets strategist at Lind-Waldock.
“But, at the end of the day, there wasn’t any reason to drive the markets higher so they didn’t manage to gain any momentum. They just simply stopped the freefall in the stock market today.”
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE advanced 107.67 points, or 0.97 percent, to end at 11,200.17. On Monday, the index closed at its weakest level since Nov. 4, 2009.
Eight of the index’s 10 main groups were higher.
Shares of Teck Resources TCKb.TO, up 4.66 percent to C$31.68, and its mining rivals jumped as copper prices rose to a one-week high alongside broad gains in North American equity markets. [ID:nLDE6650M2]
Taseko Mines TKO.TO defended its copper-gold mine project in British Columbia, helping to pare the steep losses its stock has suffered over the past week as the market judged the project would not be approved. Taseko finished up 9.94 percent at C$3.65.
Key decliners were mostly gold-mining issues. Goldcorp (G.TO) lost 1.7 percent at C$42.85, while Kinross Gold (K.TO) was down 3.1 percent at C$16.87. The index’s materials group, of which golds are a part, fell 0.77 percent.
Ian Nakamoto, director of research at MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier, said the upcoming earnings season is the next likely catalyst for the market, with U.S. earnings due to start soon, just ahead of Canadian results.
The main focus will be on company outlooks, which could be the main driver of the equity markets, he said. Forward-looking statements by company executives will be set against a backdrop of rumblings about a double-dip recession in the United States after a wave of soft data rekindled worries about recovery in the global economy.
“I’d say the macro is still going to trump the micro, but if we get a relatively calm (period), no bad news, then people will focus on the micro,” Nakamoto said.
$1=$1.0545 Canadian Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway