(New throughout, updates prices and market activity to close, adds portfolio manager comment)
* TSX ends up 87.58 points, or 0.57 percent, at 15,392.35
* All ten of the index’s key sectors ended higher
* Energy up 0.9 percent, materials jump 2 percent
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, April 23 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Thursday, helped by gains among energy and resource stocks, which were bolstered by stronger commodity prices, as well as by a modest rise from the influential financials group.
Oil futures hit a 2015 high as Saudi Arabia kept up a bombing blitz in Yemen that has heightened fears about Middle Eastern supply.
But uncertainty in the outlook for oil prices has made some investors nervous about energy stocks, which make up a large chunk of the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .
“No one can predict where oil prices are going to be in six months or a year. So for us, we’re trying to pick companies that can withstand a period of lower prices for longer,” said Bryden Teich, associate portfolio manager at Avenue Investment Management.
Canadian Natural Resources rose 1 percent to C$40.88 and Cenovus Energy Inc gained 2.3 percent to C$23.44.
The overall oil and gas sector climbed 0.9 percent, while the materials group, home to gold miners, climbed 2 percent.
The index ended the day up 87.58 points, or 0.57 percent, at 15,392.35. All ten of the index’s key sectors ended higher.
The biggest positive drivers on the index included fertilizer company Potash Corp, up 3.2 percent at C$41, and Goldcorp Inc, which gained 2.8 percent to C$23.71.
The price of bullion rose as weaker-than-expected U.S. economic data weakened the U.S. currency in which the precious metal is traded.
The financials group, which make up nearly 35 percent of the index’s weight, was up 0.5 percent.
“Where interest rates are in general, you can’t get income from the bond markets. So for any of the financials still yielding 3.5 to 4 percent and still trading at 11 times earnings, we still see value there,” said Teich.
Royal Bank of Canada rose 0.6 percent to C$80.45. (Editing by Ted Botha and David Gregorio)