* TSX up 96.58 points, or 0.63 percent, at 15,495.69
* Nine of the TSX’s 10 main groups gain
TORONTO, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Friday, led by heavyweight financial and energy shares as oil rose and investors weighed a much stronger-than-expected increase in U.S. nonfarm payrolls.
Gains for financials came as the possibility of simpler U.S. bank regulations drove up U.S. bank stocks. Many large Canadian banks have sizable operations in the United States.
Royal Bank of Canada rose 1 percent to C$94.63, while the overall financials group gained nearly 1 percent.
U.S. job growth surged more than expected in January but a smaller-than-expected increase in wages may reduce pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in the near term.
Gold prices rose as a weaker case for near-term interest rate hikes pressured the U.S. dollar, while U.S. crude prices were up 0.7 percent to $53.91 a barrel as investors weighed the possibility of new sanctions on Iran.
The increase in oil prices helped push energy stocks 0.2 percent higher, with Suncor Energy Inc climbing 1.1 percent to C$40.95.
At 11:02 a.m. ET (1602 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index rose 96.58 points, or 0.63 percent, to 15,495.69.
Last week the index came within 11 points of its all-time high at 15,685.13. But it has retreated 0.5 percent this week, pressured by uncertainty over U.S. trade policy with Canada under the new administration of President Donald Trump.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is taking a low key approach to dealing with Trump, seeking to avoid clashes while indirectly signaling the two leaders’ differences to a domestic audience.
Department store operator Hudson’s Bay Co has made a takeover approach to U.S. department store chain Macy’s Inc , the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources.
Shares of Hudson’s Bay jumped 4.7 percent to C$10.47.
Industrials rose 0.5 percent as railroad stocks gained, while the materials group, which includes miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.2 percent.
Just one of the index’s 10 main groups fell, with telecoms dipping 0.1 percent. (Reporting by Fergal Smith Editing by W Simon)
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