Canada's TSX gains more than 1% as financial shares climb

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014. Canada's main stock index was little changed on Monday as weakness in financial and energy shares offset gains in the materials sector. REUTERS/Mark Blinch (CANADA - Tags: BUSINESS)

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Monday, helped by gains for financial shares, as investors welcomed a stronger-than-expected rebound in German business morale.

* The recovery in Germany’s Ifo institute survey for May offered a glimpse of optimism to battered investors of what lay beyond weeks of economic lockdowns.

* The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 161.78 points, or 1.1%, at 15,075.42. The index has rallied about 35% since hitting an eight-year low in March.

* The heavyweight financials group .SPTTFS rose 1.7%, gaining ground ahead of earnings reports over the coming days from Canada's major banks.

* The healthcare sector .GSPTTHC, which includes cannabis stocks, rose 4.9%, while information technology .SPTTTK was up 2.1%.

* Shares of Transat AT Inc TRZ.TO fell 7% as EU antitrust regulators opened a full-scale investigation into Air Canada's AC.TO bid for the Canadian tour operator.

* Financial markets in the United States were closed for the Memorial Day public holiday.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; editing by Grant McCool