* TSX up 1.2 percent at 9,826.35
* Consumer stocks rise, helped by Canadian Tire results
* Resource sectors turn higher (Adds details)
TORONTO, May 14 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index rose on strength in financial and consumer issues on Thursday morning, while the energy sector climbed despite lower oil prices.
The TSX was nearly unchanged in choppy trade shortly after the opening bell, but eventually gained momentum to the upside as strength expanded to nine of the index’s 10 main sectors.
At 10:50 a.m. (1450 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 116.84 points, or 1.2 percent, at 9,826.35, climbing back from a 0.27 percent dip at the open.
The financials group rose 1.7 percent after falling for three straight sessions in what analysts have called a “consolidation” phase.
The index is on the rise after posting its first three-day swing lower in more than a month. Entering the session, the TSX was up about 30 percent on a run of weekly gains, after hitting a five-year low in March.
Francis Campeau, a broker at MF Global Canada in Montreal, said he was eyeing technical levels on the S&P/TSX 60 .TSE60, which fell 3.7 percent to 589.15 on Wednesday.
“The big question is whether the break below ... 600 in Canada was a bull market correction or a confirmation of a bear market rally,” he said, also noting that the S&P 500 index .SPX was currently below the key 900 level.
“Right here, right now, it’s far from being obvious.”
Meanwhile, consumer stocks were on the rise, helped by a higher than expected profit at retailer Canadian Tire Corp (CTCa.TO). [ID:nN14481424]
Canadian Tire rose 8.3 percent to C$49.24.
Gildan Activewear (GIL.TO) also rose, climbing 25.1 percent to C$15.78, despite reporting a slump on quarterly profit. Instead, investors focused on news that a key customer of the T-shirt maker would likely avoid filing for bankruptcy. [ID:nBNG359860]
Forzani Group FGL.TO rose 7.6 percent to C$14.04, as the sporting-goods retailer recommended that shareholders oppose a bid from a New York-based hedge fund attempting to nominate its own members to the board. [ID:nN14458991]
The consumer staples group was up 1.8 percent, while the consumer discretionary group rose 2.5 percent.
MF Global’s Campeau said results from Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) was also in investor focus. The U.S. retail giant reported first-quarter earnings that met expectations. [ID:nN14463262]
Early weakness was seen in the TSX’s energy group as the price of crude fell towards $57 a barrel after the International Energy Agency forecast global oil consumption would fall this year at the fastest rate since 1981. [ID:nSIN503436]
But energy issues rebounded, rising by nearly 1 percent at midmorning. Initial weakness in the materials group also reversed, with the sector up 0.31 percent.
$1=$1.17 Canadian Reporting by Ka Yan Ng