(Updates throughout with analyst comment, market reaction, details)
* TSX up 102.45 points, or 0.76 percent, to 13,647.7
* Nine of the TSX’s 10 main groups rose
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rallied more than 1 percent on Thursday as energy stocks tracked rebounding crude prices and markets digested this week’s domestic economic data.
A pledge by the European Central Bank to keep monetary policy loose helped prop up crude prices more than 3 percent, while closed markets in China due to a public holiday also helped stabilize the volatile commodity.
Energy stocks climbed 1.8 percent, aided by Suncor Energy Inc, which rose 1.4 percent to C$35.48 to lead the index gainers.
Heavily-weighted financial firms, which have deep ties with oil and gas companies, also made gains, climbing 0.9 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia rose 1.6 percent to C$59.32.
At 11:32 a.m. EDT (1532 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index rose 102.45 points, or 0.76 percent, to 13,647.7. Earlier in the session, the index had touched a high of 13,706.76.
Technology stocks were the only losers among the index’s 10 main sectors, falling 0.3 percent.
Earlier in the week, gross domestic product data showed Canadian economic activity in June grew by a better-than-expected 0.5 percent, while Thursday’s trade data showed the country’s export sector helped cut Canada’s trade deficit to an eight-month low of C$593 million, significantly less than the C$1.30 billion economists had forecast.
“People might be reading through the technical recession ... and some of that positivity is showing itself in the market today,” said Bryden Teich, associate portfolio manager at Avenue Investment Management, referring to the recession Canada’s economy entered in the first half of the year.
Teich cautioned however, that the uncertainty and market volatility seen in recent weeks will likely remain for now, as worries over China’s economy, what the Federal Reserve will decide at its next meeting later this month, and Friday’s U.S. and Canadian employment figures remain in focus.
“A lot of it will come down to what the Fed does when they make their decision in a couple of weeks. There’s a lot of uncertainty,” said Teich.
On the earnings front, Sears Canada shares rose 0.9 percent to C$8.55 after the struggling retailer posted a smaller operating loss and the slowest decline in comparable stores sales in six quarters.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the TSX by 184 to 60, for a 3.07-to-1 ratio on the upside. (Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Andrew Hay)