* TSX ends up 52.05 points, or 0.34 percent, at 15,412.60
* Seven of the index’s 10 main groups in positive territory
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, April 20 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Monday as oil price gains helped oil and gas companies, and railways and banks also moved higher.
The country’s two main railway companies both jumped ahead of their earnings. Canadian National Railway Co, which reported results after markets closed, gained 2.7 percent to C$83.35, and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd added 2.2 percent to C$237.26.
Energy names also played a positive role, as crude oil holds onto a recent upward trend even amid fears of oversupply.
“The statistics are coming out on a weekly basis showing inventories are mounting and yet the crude price remains firm. That’s giving strength to the stocks,” said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada.
“There seems to be a looking across the valley approach that’s giving strength to some of the energy bulls,” he said.
Encana Corp rose 3.8 percent to C$16.55 after a Bloomberg report that Canada’s largest natural gas producer was considering selling some assets.
Enbridge Inc advanced 0.7 percent to C$65.26.
Philip Petursson, a portfolio advisory group analyst at Manulife Asset Management, said energy stocks offer the long-term investor a compelling option.
“I think that makes a number of energy names attractive ... it might be little bit ahead of itself now. But if you’re patient and have a 12- to 24-month window, I think energy is one of the more interesting sectors in the Canadian space.”
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended the day up 52.05 points, or 0.34 percent, at 15,412.60. Seven of the index’s 10 main groups gained.
Financials were up 0.5 percent. Toronto-Dominion Bank was another influential mover, up 0.7 percent at C$56.15, and Royal Bank of Canada gained 0.6 percent to C$81.27.
“One thing we’ve seen over the last week and change is the steepening of the yield curve in Canada ... That helps the banks a little bit,” said Petursson.
Additional reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Dan Grebler and Leslie Adler