(Updates with fresh details, stock moves, analyst comments)
* TSX up 24.61 points, or 0.16 percent, at 15,329.38
* Five of the index’s 10 main groups advance
* Energy up 0.9 percent, materials add 0.6 percent
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, April 23 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Thursday, helped by gains among energy and resource stocks, which were bolstered by stronger commodity prices, and a modest rise by the influential financials group.
The biggest positive driver on the index included Canadian Natural Resources, which rose 1.01 percent to C$40.88, and Goldcorp Inc, which advanced 1.3 percent to C$23.37.
The overall oil and gas sector climbed 0.9 percent, while the materials group, home to gold miners, climbed 0.6 percent.
U.S. crude prices were up 2.9 percent to $57.79, while Brent crude added 3.1 percent to $64.66. Gold futures eked out a 0.1 percent gain to $1,187.6.
At 10:41 a.m. EDT (1441 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 24.61 points, or 0.16 percent, at 15,329.38.
Of the index’s 10 main groups, five were in positive territory. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones for a 1.62-to-1 ratio on the upside.
“The change of tone from the Bank of Canada last week was definitely a positive sign,” said Bryden Teich, associate portfolio manager at Avenue Investment Management, referring to the central bank’s more optimistic view about the country’s economic growth prospects for the second half of the year.
“Things have maybe stabilized a little bit,” he said. “The impact of the Canadian dollar is something that can definitely help counter the decline in oil prices.”
The financials group, which make up nearly 35 percent of the index’s weight, was up a modest 0.04 percent.
“Where interest rates are in general, you can’t get income from the bond markets. So for any of the financials still yielding 3.5 to 4 percent and still trading at 11 times earnings, we still see value there,” said Teich.
Royal Bank of Canada rose 0.2 percent to C$80.13. (Editing by Ted Botha)