Financial and energy shares help push TSX higher

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index climbed on Friday, helped by strength in the financial services sector and energy companies, with investors focusing on monetary policy commentary from U.S. central bank chief Janet Yellen.

Yellen said in a speech that the Federal Reserve should raise interest rates “in the coming months” if the economy picks up as expected and jobs continue to be generated, boosting the case for a rate increase in June or July.

Financial stocks were among the most influential movers on the index after banks on Thursday reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings even as they warned of further losses from oil loans in coming quarters.

Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO rose 0.4 percent to C$57.67, and Brookfield Asset Management Inc BAMa.TO advanced 2.6 percent to C$46.54, while the overall financials group was up 0.6 percent.

Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc VRX.TO rose 6.3 percent to C$37.08. The drugmaker received a joint takeover offer from Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd 4502.T and TPG Capital Management LP TPG.UL this spring that it rejected, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 56.03 points, or 0.4 percent, at 14,105.23. Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher. The consumer discretionary sector advanced 1.4 percent, and the information technology group added 1.6 percent.

However, the materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, was dragged lower by weaker commodity prices. The group lost 1.4 percent. Spot gold XAU= fell 2.4 percent.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Frances Kerry and Leslie Adler