(Updates trading, adds comments, details)
* TSX up 94.84 points, or 0.62 percent, at 15,319.36
* Eight of the index’s 10 main groups advance
* Materials and healthcare group up 1.5 percent
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, May 1 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index advanced on Friday to recoup most of the previous session’s losses, led by broad gains in financials and mining firms as well as some positive earnings reports.
Month-end positioning and less than stellar quarterly results sent the index down 0.8 percent on Thursday, even as it climbed more than 2 percent overall during the month of April, bolstered in part by a rally in crude prices.
“More than anything, it’s a follow through from the last couple of days,” said Chhad Aul, portfolio manager at Sun Life Global Investments. “April was really a month of consolation of some of those year-to-date themes and a reversal of them.”
The most influential advancing stock on the index was Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc, which rose 2.44 percent to C$268.01, after a slew of analysts raised their price targets. The drugmaker had raised its earnings and sales forecasts for the year on Wednesday. The overall healthcare group was up 1.5 percent.
Other top influencers include Toronto Dominion Bank, which rose 0.81 percent to C$56.15, and Canadian National Railway Co, which advanced 1.1 percent to C$78.74.
The overall financials group climbed 0.6 percent while the industrials group climbed 0.7 percent.
At 10:55 a.m. EDT (1455 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index rose 94.84 points, or 0.62 percent, to 15,319.36.
Of the index’s 10 main groups only two were in negative territory. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the TSX for a 1.41-to-1 ratio.
The resource-focused materials group also helped lift the index with a 1.5 percent gain. Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd rose 7.1 percent to C$39.10 after the gold mining company reported first quarter results that beat expectations.
On the downside, energy stocks slipped 0.2 percent, hurt in part by crude prices that fell after Iraq said its crude exports hit a record in April. Canadian Natural Resources was down 1 percent at C$39.70.
“We have been picking up Canadian energy stocks early in the year. We were surprised by how much they ran in April,” said Aul. “We’ve taken a bit of a pause ... but we think we’ll have more opportunities to add to our energy position here in Canada.”