(Adds details on stocks and sectors throughout, updates prices)
* TSX up 53.62 points, or 0.34 percent, at 15,607.66
* Index touches highest intraday since Jan. 27 at 15,627.08
* Seven of TSX’s 10 main groups rise
TORONTO, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Thursday to its highest in nearly two weeks, led by a more than 2 percent gain for energy shares as oil prices rose, while lower prices for base and precious metals weighed on the materials group.
Suncor Energy Inc climbed 2.8 percent to C$41.64. Canada’s largest oil and gas company reported a larger-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday as a result of higher global crude prices and improved reliability at the Syncrude oil sands project.
The overall energy group gained 2.1 percent, while U.S. crude prices were up 1.1 percent at $52.93 a barrel after an unexpected draw in U.S. gasoline inventories pointed to higher demand in the world’s biggest oil market.
Industrial shares rose 0.5 percent as railroad stocks gained ground and the heavyweight financials group firmed 0.4 percent, led by a 0.9 percent gain for Royal Bank of Canada to C$96.25.
Manulife Financial Corp reversed earlier gains to fall 1.1 percent to C$24.32. Canada’s biggest insurer met a long-held target to achieve an annual profit of C$4 billion in 2016 and exceeded analyst expectations, helped by a strong performance in Asia.
At 11:00 a.m. ET (1600 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 53.62 points, or 0.34 percent, to 15,607.66.
It touched its highest intraday since Jan. 27 at 15,627.08, moving back to be in reach of its September 2014 record peak of 15,685.13.
Just three of the index’s 10 main groups were lower, with the materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, declining 1.5 percent as gold and copper prices fell.
Barrick Gold Corp lost 2.4 percent to C$25.14, while gold futures fell 0.5 percent to $1,231 an ounce and copper prices declined 0.8 percent to $5,849.5 a tonne.
News and information company Thomson Reuters Corp reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit but missed expectations on revenue. Its shares fell 3.4 percent to C$56.78.
Telus Corp fell 1.9 percent to C$43.31. One of Canada’s three big telecom providers reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly profit as operating expenses rose and it spent more to attract wireless customers. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by James Dalgleish)
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