January 13, 2015 / 4:03 PM / in 3 years

CANADA STOCKS-TSX advances as U.S. hopes lift banks, insurers

* TSX up 75.95 points, or 0.53 percent, at 14,340.96

* Eight of the 10 main index sectors advance

* First Quantum, Teck slip with copper price

By John Tilak

TORONTO, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index climbed on Tuesday as shares of banks and insurers rose on optimism over strong U.S. profit reports as the fourth-quarter earnings season got underway.

Alcoa Inc reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Monday as the aluminum maker benefited from automotive demand, stronger selling prices and lower energy costs.

Oil prices, which have been hit by concerns about oversupply, extended their slide on Tuesday. They are down about 60 percent since June.

Allan Small, a senior investment adviser at HollisWealth, said he was neither adding to nor selling his oil and gas investments. “As a value investor, you tell clients to buy when things are going down. But this time I‘m not quick to buy.”

“The likelihood that oil will hit $55 is a lot more than hitting $35,” he added. “But for now the sentiment is negative, and traders are really taking advantage of it.”

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 75.95 points, or 0.53 percent, at 14,340.96. Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.

Financials, the index’s most heavily weighted sector, rose 0.8 percent. Toronto-Dominion Bank gained 1 percent to C$52.60. Insurer Sun Life Financial Inc was up 1.5 percent at C$40.64, and rival Manulife Financial Corp strengthened 0.8 percent to C$21.50.

Shares of energy producers climbed 1 percent, despite the oil-price decline. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd advanced 1.3 percent to C$32.23, and Suncor Energy Inc added 2.4 percent to C$35.13.

A selloff in copper weighed on mining stocks. First Quantum Minerals Ltd tumbled 8.8 percent to C$14.43, and Teck Resources Ltd gave back 3.9 percent to C$14.99.

$1=$1.19 Canadian Editing by Peter Galloway

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