TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Thursday, led by energy stocks despite a nearly seven-year low for crude oil, while the information technology and materials groups also outperformed in a broad-based rally.
"It seems like some bargain hunters are coming in on the energy sector and it's helping the market," said Youssef Zohny, portfolio manager at StennerZohny Investment Partners of Richardson GMP Ltd.
Weak crude oil prices are creating opportunities for long-term investors in the oil and gas sector, the chief executive of one of Canada's 10 biggest pension funds said.
The information technology group surged 2.9 percent, paced by a 7.7 percent gain for BlackBerry Ltd (BB.TO) to C$10.76.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 79 points, or 0.61 percent, at 13,016.59, with all 10 of the index's main groups in positive territory.
Financials were up just 0.1 percent after paring earlier gains.
Weak economic growth and a potential credit bubble are headwinds for the sector, according to Zohny.
"Even though earnings for financials have been pretty good, people are looking forward and potentially seeing some risks to their earnings and to the sector," he said.
Cenovus Energy Inc (CVE.TO) fell 1.8 percent to C$18.35. The company said it expected to reduce its capital budget by 19 percent in 2016 in response to tumbling crude prices.
Dollarama Inc (DOL.TO) was one of the biggest drags on the index for a second straight day, falling 5.3 percent to C$77.37 after a number of brokers cut their price targets. On Wednesday, it fell more than 7 percent after reporting quarterly results.
U.S. crude CLc1 prices settled at $36.77 a barrel, down 1.1 percent, having hit a nearly seven-year low of C$36.52.
Brent crude LCOc1 lost 1.5 percent to $39.52.
Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn