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Feb 16 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Friday as a boost from the heavyweight energy sector helped the market rack up its best weekly performance in nearly two years.
* The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index finished up 44.98 points, or 0.29 percent, at 15,452.64.
* For the week, the index was up 2.8 percent in its biggest increase since March 2016, partly thanks due to a strong rally on Monday following last week’s global equities sell-off.
* The energy group climbed 1.1 percent, boosted for the second day by TransCanada Corp, which advanced 2.3 percent to C$57.61 after it said on Thursday it would go ahead with the expansion of its NGTL natural gas system.
* Suncor Energy also helped support the market, gaining 2.2 percent to C$43.36 as the price of oil was boosted by a rebound in global equities. U.S. crude settled up 34 cents at $61.68 a barrel.
* But the market’s gains were tempered by a drop in gold producers as gold futures fell 0.3 percent to $1,347.70. Agnico Eagle Mines was among the biggest drags on the index, down 3.9 percent at C$54.12, while First Quantum Minerals declined 2.7 percent to C$20.81.
* Shares of cannabis companies also came under pressure the day after Canadian government officials said the planned July start date for legalized recreational marijuana was set to be delayed further.
* Canopy Growth dropped 5.3 percent to C$26.50, while Aphria Inc slumped 5.5 percent to C$14.06. Aurora Cannabis was among the most actively traded companies, down 6.6 percent at $10.13.
* Separately, the province of Alberta said recreational marijuana will be sold in licensed private retail stores to be overseen by a government regulator. The federal government has left the details of how to sell cannabis up to the provinces.
* Among the day’s corporate earnings, Air Canada rose 1.3 percent to C$24.64 after it reported better-than-expected profit and said it expects a joint venture with Air China to be wrapped up this spring.
* The TSX posted 7 new 52-week highs and 4 new lows. Across all Canadian issues there were 19 new 52-week highs and 21 new lows. Volume on the TSX index was 215.29 million shares. (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Chizu Nomiyama)