* TSX rallies to highest level in nearly 3 weeks
* Energy shares up as oil prices hit 2009 high
* Bank shares rally on JPMorgan profit
* Gold shares top decliners as bullion price retreats (Adds details and comments)
By Ka Yan Ng
TORONTO, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index closed higher on Wednesday as rising oil prices lifted Suncor Energy (SU.TO) and other oil and gas shares, while upbeat U.S. corporate earnings helped boost sentiment.
Suncor, the biggest contributor to the gain, jumped 4.29 percent to C$40.36, while shares of fellow oil company Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) advanced 3.4 percent to C$77.49.
The rally in energy stocks came as the price of oil surged to a 2009 high above $75 a barrel due to optimism about a global economic rebound that would lead to higher energy demand. [O/R]
Heavyweight bank shares also helped power the rise in the TSX, led by Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), up 1.5 percent at C$55.94, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO), up 1.7 percent to C$65.72.
The main index hit its highest in nearly three weeks, encouraged by better-than-expected U.S. retail sales for September and surprisingly robust financial results from banking and technology bellwethers JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N) and Intel Corp (INTC.O).[ID:nN14253782] [ID:nN14236340]
The positive earnings reports lit a fire under the market, said Lex Kerkovius, senior research analyst at McLean & Partners Wealth Management Ltd in Calgary.
He noted that gold-mining shares took a breather after the price of bullion ended well off the record high it set early in the session.
“It probably won’t stay there long. As long as the U.S. dollar continues its weakness, the golds should continue to be firm,” Kerkovius said. “Nothing looks to be on the horizon immediately that’s going to change that outlook.”
Five gold companies were among the top notable decliners, led by Goldcorp (G.TO), off 1.4 percent at C$43.76, and Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), down 0.92 percent at C$40.98.
The S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 119.24 points, or 1.04 percent, at 11,532.78 on Wednesday.
($1=$1.03 Canadian) (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; editing by Peter Galloway)