(Adds strategist comment, details, updates prices to close)
* TSX ends up 158.66 points, or 1.18 percent, at 13,581.42
* Half of the TSX’s 10 main groups rise
TORONTO, April 12 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index notched its biggest jump in more than five weeks on Tuesday, bouncing higher as a spike in the price of oil boosted energy stocks and supported financials.
The overall energy group surged 5.2 percent as oil prices hit four-month highs after a report that Russia and Saudi Arabia agreed to freeze output ahead of a meeting of producers.
The most influential movers on the index included Suncor Energy Inc, which advanced 3.7 percent to C$36.89, and Canadian Natural Resources, up 5.3 percent to C$37.50.
“Energy is definitely leading it, on the back of the stronger oil prices, but it is lifting the rest of the market with it,” said Philip Petursson, chief investment strategist at Manulife Investments.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended the session up 158.66 points, or 1.18 percent, at 13,581.42. It touched its highest level since March 17 during the session.
The financials group gained 1.2 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada rising 1.1 percent to C$75.74, Bank of Nova Scotia up 1.6 percent at C$62.54, and Toronto-Dominion Bank advancing 1 percent to C$54.97.
Bond “yields have moved up, so the Canadian 10-year now is just shy of 1.3 percent ... that helps the financials. But also there is a correlation between financials and oil,” Petursson said.
He said he expects the Bank of Canada to hold rates steady on Wednesday and not indicate a hike is coming this year, and for the central bank to increase its growth forecasts based on a stimulative federal budget and robust recent data.
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd also helped push the index higher, rising 2.2 percent to C$183.94 after its chief executive officer said cash once planned to acquire rival Norfolk Southern Corp could be used for a buyback, dividend, or combination of both.
Half of the index’s 10 main groups gained, with advancers outnumbered decliners by 1.7-to-1.
Industrials rose 0.8 percent and the materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.9 percent.
Barrick Gold Corp declined 0.8 percent to C$20.87 and Goldcorp Inc fell 1.3 percent to C$22.65 as gold steadied at a three-month high, while diversified miner Teck Resources Ltd jumped 7.7 percent to C$11.10 as copper prices advanced 2.2 percent to $4,766.75 a tonne. . (Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Jonathan Oatis)
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