TSX rises to a near four-week high, led by financials and industrials

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Wednesday to a near four-week high, led by financial and industrial stocks as surprisingly upbeat trade data from China supported sentiment.

The most influential movers on the index included Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO, which rose 0.7 percent to C$76.28, and Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO, which advanced 1.1 percent to C$63.21.

The financials group gained 0.7 percent, while industrials rose 1.1 percent and consumer discretionary stocks were up 0.8 percent.

China’s exports in March returned to growth for the first time in nine months, adding to further signs of stabilization in the world’s second-largest economy that cheered global investors.

At 9:52 a.m. EDT (1352 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE rose 36.85 points, or 0.27 percent, to 13,618.27. Seven of the index's 10 main groups were higher.

The energy group retreated 0.3 percent as oil prices pared some recent gains.

U.S. crude CLc1 prices were down 1.8 percent to $41.42 a barrel, while Brent crude LCOc1 lost 1.3 percent to $44.13.[O/R]

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.2 percent.

Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO fell 2.1 percent to C$20.44 as spot gold XAU= fell 0.8 percent.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli