(Updates official closing numbers, adds details)
TORONTO, April 10 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index finished strongly higher on Thursday, propelled by a late afternoon rally in resource and financial issues.
The energy and materials sectors gained 1 percent and 0.9 percent respectively, even though the prices of the underlying commodities were weaker following a sharp bounce on Wednesday.
Shares of TransAlta gained C$1.91, or 6 percent, to C$33.12 after it said that Unit 4 at its Sundance power plant in Alberta had returned to normal service on Wednesday. The utilities sector as a whole rose 2.1 percent.
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 159.03 points, or 1.16 percent, at 13,909.58, with all of its 10 main sectors higher.
The financial sector also aided the afternoon jump, gaining 1.2 percent. Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) was up 96 Canadian cents, or 2.1 percent, at C$47.12, and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) rose 79 Canadian cents, or 1.7 percent, to C$46.73.
But on the downside, MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA.TO) was the biggest drag on the benchmark after the Canadian government blocked the sale of its satellite unit to U.S rocket-maker Alliant Techsystems ATK.N. MDA shed C$4.00, or 8.5 percent, to C$42.85.
$1=$1.02 Canadian Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Peter Galloway