(Adds fund manager comments, updates prices to close)
* TSX ends up 88.19 points, or 0.58 percent, at 15,188.84
* Eight of the 10 main index sectors advance
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO, April 7 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index advanced to its highest in more than a month on Tuesday, lifted by gains among its biggest banks and some major energy companies as oil prices climbed.
The broad gains were echoed in global markets, with potential deal activity boosting European indexes as well as Wall Street.
“The TSX is starting to pick up, and one of the reasons is the boiling over of oil prices,” said Barry Schwartz, a portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services. “I’m in the positive camp for being overweight equities.”
Crude oil prices rallied after strong U.S. labor data and lower production forecasts.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended the session up 88.19 points, or 0.58 percent, at 15,188.84. Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index gained.
Among the financial stocks pushing the index higher, Royal Bank of Canada gained 1 percent to C$77.81, Toronto-Dominion Bank added 0.8 percent to C$54.54, and Bank of Nova Scotia rose 1 percent to C$63.78.
Gold miners were among the heaviest weights on the downside, with Barrick Gold Corp slipping 1.8 percent to C$15.46 and Goldcorp Inc dropping 1.2 percent to C$23.81.
The benchmark index recorded its fourth straight daily gain, however, as it benefited from recent strength in crude prices and as investors eye the release of minutes from the last U.S. Federal Reserve meeting later this week for policy insights.
Market sentiment received a boost after Friday’s weak U.S. jobs report signaled a Fed rate hike was likely not imminent.
“Investors will be looking for any kind of discussion on the timing an interest rate lift-off,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.
“The TSX has held up relatively well, and it’s going through a consolidation phase,” he added. “Technically, it is looking strong here.”
Shares of energy producers rose 1.4 percent. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd added 2 percent to C$41.04, and Encana Corp was up 3.8 percent at C$15.07.
$1=$1.25 Canadian Additional reporting by John Tilak; editing by Peter Galloway and G Crosse