* TSX up 77.38 points, or 0.54 percent, at 14,324.15
* Nine of 10 main index sectors advance
* Suncor, Canadian Natural trade higher
By John Tilak
TORONTO, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index advanced on Wednesday as positive U.S. economic data and firmer oil prices helped drive gains in most major sectors.
Separate data indicated a drop in the U.S. trade deficit to an 11-month low in November as well as gains in hiring by U.S. private employers in December.
The benchmark’s rebound came after two straight sessions of sharp declines, when concerns about a global supply glut hit oil prices and shares of energy producers.
The price of oil was volatile on Wednesday and energy shares were higher.
“There’s no question that oil has yet to find a bottom,” said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada. “It’s more of a trader’s game than an investor’s game.”
“Looking ahead, what’s going to be the price tag for oil? Is it going to be $80, $60 or $30? Until that is known, investing in the oil patch is only for traders,” he added.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 77.38 points, or 0.54 percent, at 14,324.15. Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
Suncor Energy Inc led the sector higher, adding 0.8 percent to C$35.50. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd was up 0.7 percent at C$33.05
Financials rose 0.4 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada gaining 0.6 percent to C$78.78 and Bank of Nova Scotia climbing 0.2 percent to C$63.61. (Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)