(Updates market action with earnings results, analyst’s comments)
* TSX up 87.31 points, or 0.61 percent, to 14,470.09
* Seven of the TSX’s 10 main groups rise
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, July 31 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index was headed for its fourth straight day of gains on Friday with the heavily weighted financials and materials sectors leading the way as investors sought value after a bleak couple of months for the market.
The rise came despite losses in oil and gas stocks, which were hurt by a drop in crude prices after output numbers showed the OPEC producers were pumping near record levels into an already oversupplied market.
At 11:18 a.m. EDT (1518 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 87.31 points, or 0.61 percent, at 14,470.09.
Seven of the index’s 10 primary sectors rose. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones for a 1.68-to-1 ratio.
“We’ve really taken a beating here in Toronto in the last little while,” said Rick Hutcheon, president and chief operating officer at RKH Investments, noting that August is historically a reasonably strong month.
“People are beginning to troll for stocks that appear to have some lasting long-term structural value, good management ... At some stage, things fall to a point at which value starts to surface and we may be there.”
Royal Bank of Canada was among the names carrying the most weight on the positive side with its shares rising 0.99 percent to C$76.50. Toronto-Dominion Bank followed, advancing 0.8 percent to C$53.11.
Banks and insurers as a whole climbed 0.7 percent.
The mining-heavy materials group was another influential gainer, gaining 2.0 percent, with shares of Goldcorp Inc rising 4.4 percent to C$17.19.
Tempering the index’s gains was a 0.8 percent retreat in energy stocks. Canadian Oil Sands sank 6.2 percent to C$7.145.
U.S. crude prices were down 1.7 percent at $47.7 a barrel, while Brent crude lost 1.1 percent to $52.73.
“If you’re a long-term investor ... you have to seriously look at energy,” Hutcheon said. “They’re hated ... but what else could go wrong for them these days? Maybe they’re worth a look.”
On the earnings front, Canada’s No. 2 integrated oil producer and refiner, Imperial oil, was down 1.2 percent at C$47.94 after it reported profit that missed forecasts due to low crude prices.
Shares of pipeline operators Enbridge Inc and TransCanada Corp rose, however, after both companies reported stronger-than-expected results.
Enbridge was up was up 1.6 percent at C$57.20, while TransCanada rose 0.7 percent to C$50.70.
Gildan Activewear was the most influential loser, falling 5.8 percent to C$43.00 after the clothing maker reported quarterly earnings and sales that fell short of expectations.
$1=$1.30 Canadian Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Peter Galloway