* TSX ends up 95.97 points, or 0.65 percent, at 14,908.39
* Nine of 10 main index sectors advance
* Catamaran rises almost 25 percent on takeover deal
By John Tilak
TORONTO, March 30 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Monday, buoyed by modest advances in the financial and energy sectors and a sharp increase in Catamaran Corp’s price after UnitedHealth Group Inc agreed to buy the pharmacy-benefits manager.
Catamaran’s shares shot up 24.7 percent to C$75.88, helping drive a 7 percent gain in the healthcare sector.
Miner Teck Resources Ltd rose 11.3 percent to C$19.45. After the closing bell Teck denied a Bloomberg News report saying it was exploring a merger with Antofagasta Plc .
Gains elsewhere were broad-based, as recent economic data and comments from executives raised expectations that China might undertake more monetary easing measures. Global equity markets benefited from those hopes.
“We’re seeing some pretty broad-based strength to start the week,” said Youssef Zohny, portfolio manager at StennerZohny Investment Partners+ of Richardson GMP Ltd, which manages C$27 billion in assets.
“There are some indications of stimulus coming out of China, and that’s helping boost risk appetite,” he said.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended up 95.97 points, or 0.65 percent, at 14,908.39.
The benchmark index’s gain came after declines in each of the previous three sessions, and with nine of the 10 main sectors ending higher.
The gains were offset by a 6.3 percent fall in BlackBerry shares, to C$11.17, as analysts took neutral-to-largely-negative views on the company’s prospects despite a surprise quarterly profit posted on Friday.
“Our view is that BlackBerry’s current value is running ahead of its turnaround plan,” CIBC analyst Todd Coupland said in a note to clients.
The energy sector gained 0.7 percent, shrugging off oil price declines. Cenovus Energy Inc added 4.1 percent to C$21.52 and TransCanada Corp gained 1.1 percent to C$54.75.
Financial shares ended slightly higher, with Brookfield Asset Management up 1.5 percent at C$68.46 and Bank of Nova Scotia adding 0.6 percent to C$62.71.
Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Steve Orlofsky