* TSX up 65.27 points, or 0.42 percent, at 15,454.55
* Energy companies rise as oil prices rally
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, April 15 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Wednesday, touching its highest level since September, with oil and gas shares leading the rally on stronger crude prices.
Among the oil and gas stocks that were most influential in moving the index, Suncor Energy Inc rose 1.2 percent to C$40.39, while Cenovus Energy Inc advanced 3.7 percent to C$23.57. The index’s energy sector climbed 1.6 percent.
“It’s been a good day for crude oil, and that’s helping Canada. For the moment, it looks as though crude oil is bottoming out,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.
Middle Eastern tensions and signs of a dip in U.S. oil production helped oil prices rise, although advances were tempered by an International Energy Agency (IEA) report that suggested supplies would take longer to tighten than previously thought.
“The markets are doing well. Overall the sentiment for equities is quite positive,” Cieszynski said.
At 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 65.27 points, or 0.42 percent, at 15,454.55. It hit 15,498.05 at one point, its highest level since Sept. 17.
Eight of the TSX’s 10 main sectors gained ground. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the TSX by 165 to 69, for a 2.39-to-1 ratio on the upside.
There were five new 52-week highs on the index and no new lows.
The heavily weighted financials group rose 0.6 percent, led by Bank of Nova Scotia, which rose 0.9 percent to C$65.28, and by Royal Bank of Canada, which gained 0.6 percent to C$80.78.
The hefty materials group, home to mining companies, climbed 0.5 percent.
Additional reporting by John Tilak and Alastair Sharp; Editing by Peter Galloway