* TSX rises 37.62 points, or 0.27 pct, to 13,930.35
* Eight of 10 main groups higher
* Financials rise 0.49 pct, materials slide 0.08 pct (Adds details, quotes)
By John McCrank
TORONTO, March 29 (Reuters) - Toronto’s main stock index ended higher on Tuesday, erasing losses from early in the session as oil prices rose and financial issues attracted yield-hungry investors.
The heavyweight financial group rose 0.49 percent, with National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) gaining 1.36 percent to C$77.30, and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) up 0.96 percent at C$84.84.
“When you get into these periods where the market has come up and is maybe due for a little bit of a rest, people tend to go looking for yield, and that tends to be bank stocks,” said John Kurgan, senior market strategist at Lind-Waldock Canada.
He said he expects the market to be largely range-bound ahead of the federal election on May 2.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended up 37.62 points, or 0.27 percent, at 13,930.35. Eight of the index’s 10 main groups finished higher.
The TSX had been down almost 50 points earlier in day, but bounced back as energy issues reversed early losses.
The energy group ended 0.2 percent higher on a jump in the price of U.S. crude oil, which had hit a key technical level following two days of losses. [O/R] [ID:nL3E7ES07Y]
Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) rose 2.22 percent to C$50.16 and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) gained 1.64 percent to C$47.58.
The mining-heavy materials sector sagged 0.08 percent, with gold producers acting as a drag on the group after the price of gold fell for a fourth straight session, with signs of monetary tightening prompting selling. [MET/L] [GOL/] [ID:nLDE72S0RH]
Agnico Eagle (AEM.TO) slumped 2.17 percent to C$63.25, while Kinross Gold (K.TO) fell 1.78 percent to C$14.94.
Uranium producers also weighed on the sector following Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce’s move to cut its price targets on several uranium miners in the wake of the Japanese disaster. [ID:nN28187201] [ID:nWNAB1181]
Cameco (CCO.TO) slid 0.96 percent to C$28.91 and Uranium One Inc UUU.TO fell 3.59 percent to C$3.76.
Elsewhere, shares of MI Developments Inc MIMa.TO ended 1.64 percent higher at C$27.97 after shareholders approved a plan to eliminate the company’s dual share structure — a move that effectively ends billionaire Frank Stronach’s control of the Magna-affiliated (MG.TO) real estate company. [ID:nN29269045]
Lululemon Athletica LLL.TO added to gains it made on Monday, climbing 4.18 percent to C$86.80 after the high-end yoga wear company said it would split its common and special voting shares on a two-for-one basis. [ID:nN28207842]
Looking forward, Sal Masionis, a stockbroker at Brant Securities in Toronto, said that with the fighting in the Middle East, the disaster in Japan, the political situation in Ottawa, and the debt problems in Washington, the market could be in for a shaky period.
“There are so many cross currents,” he said. “I think we’ve got a short-term positive and then we’re into question-mark period.”
($1=$0.97 Canadian) (Additional reporting by Solarina Ho)