* TSX rises 40.37 points, or 0.26 percent, to 15,292.57
* Eight of the TSX’s 10 main groups climb
TORONTO, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose for the third straight day on Monday, led by the industrial and materials groups, while shares of BlackBerry Ltd climbed as it opened an autonomous driving research center.
At 11:35 a.m. EST (1635 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 40.37 points, or 0.26 percent, to 15,292.57.
Eight of the TSX’s 10 main groups gained ground as investors turned attention to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s speech at the University of Baltimore, less than a week after the U.S. central bank raised benchmark interest rates.
The index fell the most in one month on Wednesday when the Fed raised rates for the first time in a year.
The most influential movers on the index included Brookfield Asset Management Inc, which rose 0.5 percent to C$44.86, and Canadian National Railway, which advanced 0.6 percent to C$90.00
Industrials gained 0.5 percent, while financials firmed 0.1 percent.
Brazil will challenge government funding for Bombardier Inc at the World Trade Organization (WTO), escalating the latest trade spat between the Canadian jet maker and its Brazilian rival Embraer SA.
Still, Bombardier’s shares rose more than 5 percent for the second straight day, up 5.9 percent at C$2.17.
Toronto-based insurance group Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd has agreed to buy Swiss insurer Allied World Assurance Company Holdings AG for $4.9 billion in cash and stock, the companies said on Sunday.
Shares of Fairfax fell 2 percent to C$601.95.
BlackBerry Ltd opened an autonomous driving research center, trying to make itself an indispensable under-the-hood piece of the automotive industry’s weaponry in the self-driving vehicle arms race.
Shares of the Ontario-based smartphone pioneer rose 3.7 percent to C$10.48, while CGI Group Inc climbed 1.8 percent to C$64.14 and the overall information technology group gained 1.2 percent.
Healthcare advanced nearly 5 percent, with Valeant Pharmaceuticals Inc jumping 5.2 percent to C$19.82.
Energy was little changed as oil seesawed.
U.S. crude prices were down 0.3 percent at $51.74 a barrel.
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.7 percent, with Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd rising 4 percent at C$51.71.
Copper producer First Quantum Minerals Ltd fell 1.3 percent to C$14.09.
The price of copper slid to a four-week low as inventories showed their biggest one-day rise in 15 years.
Gold futures rose 0.3 percent to $1,138.6 an ounce. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by James Dalgleish)
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