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Feb 15 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Thursday as gains in the financial sector and shares of TransCanada Corp offset a decline in natural resource companies.
* The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended up 79.39 points, or 0.52 percent, at 15,407.66.
* Investors were taking in a slew of Canadian corporate earnings, while global markets rose.
* TransCanada was the biggest lift on the index, climbing 5.0 percent to C$56.33 after it reported strong fourth-quarter profit and said it would go ahead with the expansion of its NGTL natural gas system.
* The financials group also helped support the market, gaining 0.4 percent as Toronto-Dominion Bank rose 0.7 percent to C$72.81, while Brookfield Asset Management was up 2.2 percent at C$49.43.
* Bombardier jumped 11.3 percent to C$3.66 following better-than-expected results and as Delta Air Lines said it would go ahead with plans to buy some Canadian-made CSeries jets after a U.S. trade ruling stopped the United States from imposing steep duties on the aircraft.
* Canadian Tire Corp climbed 6.6 percent to C$174.48 after the retailer reported better-than-expected quarterly profit amid an early winter in some parts of the country.
* On the downside, Barrick Gold Corp shed 3.0 percent to C$16.62 after the world’s biggest gold producer, forecast an output drop over the next four years.
* Barrick helped weigh on the materials sector, which retreated 0.4 percent.
* Cenovus Energy dropped 5.3 percent to C$9.36 after the company said it was looking to sell assets in Western Canada’s Deep Basin.
* The stock weighed on the energy sector, which lost 0.9 percent.
* The TSX posted 12 new 52-week highs and 10 new lows. Volume on the index was 248.75 million shares (Reporting by Leah Schnurr in Ottawa; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Diane Craft)