TSX rises as bank gains offset energy losses

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Tuesday, with gains among heavyweight financial stocks on talk of a U.S. interest rate hike in March offsetting losses for shares of energy companies as oil prices fell.

Passersby watch the performance of stocks on a financial news television screen in the business district of Toronto, Canada, January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

At 10:33 a.m. ET (1533 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 45.69 points, or 0.3 percent, at 15,502.63. Seven of its 10 groups rose, although advancers only outnumbered decliners by 1.3-to-1 overall.

The modest tick higher came as two main U.S. indices hit fresh record highs. [.N]

Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker said on Monday he was open to raising interest rates at the U.S. central bank’s March policy meeting if growth in jobs and wages continued.

The most influential movers on the Canadian index included the country's biggest bank, Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO, which rose 0.6 percent to C$95.28, and insurer Manulife Financial Corp MFC.TO, which advanced 1.1 percent to C$24.92. The financials group gained 0.5 percent overall.

Meanwhile the energy group slipped 0.3 percent as growing evidence of a U.S. shale production revival weighed on oil prices. [O/R] Tourmaline Oil Corp TOU.TO fell 1.8 percent to C$29.48 and Enerplus Corp ERF.TO lost 2.7 percent to C$11.36.

Parex Resources Inc PXT.TO rose 4.1 percent to C$16.215 after the oil and gas company active in Canada and Colombia replaced its chief executive officer and said its proved plus probable reserves had grown 37 percent.

Canada posted a second consecutive monthly trade surplus for the first time in more than two years in December, but booming oil exports obscured weakness in some key sectors.

Restaurant Brands International Inc QSR.TO advanced 1.1 percent to C$64.99 after the owner of the Burger King and Tim Hortons chains provided some 2016 earnings guidance ahead of its full release next week.

Canadian National Railway CNR.TO gained 1.3 percent to C$90.92, while rival Canadian Pacific Railway CP.TO advanced 0.3 percent to C$194.01.

Westjet Airlines Ltd WJA.TO added 0.3 percent to C$22.30 after it reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit.

Gold miners pulled back as bullion was pressured by a stronger dollar, which gained against the euro on nervousness ahead of French elections and on weak German industry data. [GOL/]

Asanko Gold Inc AKG.TO declined 6.5 percent to C$4.60 and Pretium Resources Inc PVG.TO fell 2.4 percent to C$15.81 after it said its costs had increased as it moved to complete a speedier construction of its Brucejack mine.

Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Paul Simao