CANADA STOCKS-TSX near 4-week high as energy, materials gain

April 18 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose sharply after opening at a near one-month high on Wednesday, helped by gains in energy and material companies, and after the Bank of Canada issued an optimistic economic growth outlook.

* At 9:42 a.m. ET (1342 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite Index was up 123.11 points, or 0.8 percent, to 15,476.41, rising after four straight sessions of gains.

* The Bank of Canada maintained interest rates at 1.25 percent, as expected, but said more hikes will be needed over time amid progress on the dynamics of wage growth and inflation.

* The energy sector rose 1.9 percent, as prices of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, rallied on rising supply concerns. Brent crude oil futures rose $1.21 to $72.79 a barrel.

* Pipeline company Enbridge Inc and oil and gas producer Canadian Natural Resources ticked 1.8 percent higher and boosted the energy sector.

* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies rose 1.6 percent.

* The financial sector, which accounts for about 35 percent of the index’s weight, advanced 0.6 percent helped by gains in the heavyweight big banks.

* Construction and engineering firm SNC-Lavalin was up 0.7 percent after saying it had signed a deal with Saudi Aramco IPO-ARMO.SE to install added facilities at a major plant in Saudi Arabia.

* Canadian Pacific Railway was notified by labor union Teamsters Canada that the railroad’s workers will go on strike on April 21 after the two parties failed to resolve a deadlock in talks.

* The TSX posted 14 new 52-week highs and two new lows. Across all Canadian issues there were 22 new 52-week highs and 11 new lows.

* The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was First Quantum Minerals, which rose 5.5 percent, while the largest decliner was Labrador Iron Ore, down 3.9 percent.

* Among the most active Canadian stocks by volume were Trevali Mining, Bombardier B and Neovasc Inc .

* Volume on the TSX index was 21.26 million shares, while the total volume on Wednesday was 39.91 million shares. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)