* Nine of 10 main index sectors advance
By John Tilak
TORONTO, March 24 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Tuesday as strength in energy and financial shares helped offset sluggish economic data from China.
A private survey showed that China’s factory sector activity fell to its lowest in 11 months in March.
Commodity prices have been rebounding over the past week, buoyed by a weaker U.S. dollar, since the Federal Reserve’s comments on plans to raise interest rates was less hawkish than many had expected. The price of U.S. crude oil was up slightly.
“The U.S. dollar weakness is giving a lift. The Fed’s (comments) on rates are still having a rose-colored effect over the markets in general,” said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada.
“Bull markets climb the walls of worry, but there is no question in my mind that the markets are richly valued,” he added.
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 72.75 points, or 0.49 percent, at 15,029.69. Nine of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
Financials, the index’s most heavily weighted sector, rose 0.3 percent. Royal Bank of Canada added 0.4 percent to C$77.03, and Toronto Dominion Bank was up 0.4 percent at C$54.33.
Energy producers climbed 0.7 percent, with Canadian Natural Resources Ltd jumping 1.5 percent to C$37.91, and Suncor Energy Inc gaining 0.5 percent to C$35.93. (Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)