July 18, 2017 / 11:29 AM / a month ago

TSX buoyed by gains in energy, financials

Businessmen pass the Toronto Stock Exchange sing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada July 6, 2017.Chris Helgren

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Wednesday as the influential financial and energy sectors led broad gains, helped in part by higher commodity prices.

Financial services companies gained 0.6 percent, with Manulife Financial Corp (MFC.TO) up 1.7 percent at C$25.37.

Saputo Inc SAP.TO shares jumped 4.6 percent to C$42.28 after RBC raised the dairy producer's rating to "outperform" from "perform", helping the consumer staples group rise 1.1 percent.

At 10:31 a.m. ET (1431 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE rose 73.2 points, or 0.48 percent, to 15,222.77.

Of the index's 10 main groups, nine were in positive territory, with industrials the only group to trade lower.

Strong gasoline demand underpinned gains in oil prices, even as rising output from OPEC producers renewed concerns about persistent oversupply. U.S. crude CLc1 prices were up 1.2 percent to $46.95 a barrel.

Several energy stocks were among the most influential index movers and helped lift the overall energy group by 1 percent. Suncor Energy (SU.TO) rose 1.3 percent to C$38.25.

The materials group, home to precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.1 percent, with Teck Resources Ltd (TECKb.TO) climbing 0.9 percent to C$24.69. Copper producer First Quantum Minerals Ltd (FM.TO) rose 0.9 percent to C$13.54.

A stronger U.S. dollar on Wednesday pressured copper prices CMCU3, but upbeat economic data out of China, which helped drive prices to a more than four-month high above $6,000 earlier this week, has bolstered overall expectations of strong demand for the metal.

Canada's largest railways edged lower, dragging the overall industrials group down 0.1 percent. Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO), which dipped 0.6 percent at C$205.13, will be reporting quarterly results after markets close.

Canadian manufacturing sales posted their largest gain in five months in May, rising 1.1 percent to C$54.6 billion ($43.2 billion) from April, topping forecasts and hitting a record level on higher sales of motor vehicles and parts, data from Statistics Canada showed.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the TSX by 161 to 81, for a 1.99-to-1 ratio on the upside.

Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli

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