* TSX up 12.59 points, or 0.08 percent, at 15,241.16
* Seven of 10 main index sectors advance
* Energy shares slip with oil prices
By John Tilak
TORONTO, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose slightly on Thursday as advances in Toronto Dominion Bank and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce helped offset a drop in the energy sector.
TD shares advanced 1 percent, to C$54.47, after the company posted a slightly higher profit in line with expectations, as gains at its retail division offset weakness in wholesale banking.
CIBC reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings, helped by strong growth in its wholesale banking business, and unexpectedly raised its dividend. The stock jumped 3.3 percent to C$95.23.
Despite a sharp slump in oil prices over the past several months, the commodity-focused TSX has been climbing, gaining about 12 percent since hitting a low in December.
“We’re yet to see the full impact of the slide in crude oil prices, but the fact that the banks are reporting good numbers is a promising sign,” said Elvis Picardo, strategist and vice president of research at Global Securities in Vancouver.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 12.59 points, or 0.08 percent, at 15,241.16. Seven of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
Boosted by the gains in TD and CIBC, the financial sector climbed 0.6 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia, which is expected to report results next week, rose 1.1 percent to C$66.57.
Shares of energy producers slipped, reflecting a 4 percent drop in the price of U.S. crude oil. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd lost 1.8 percent to C$36.94, and Suncor Energy Inc gave back 0.5 percent to C$38.19. (Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)