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Toronto market notches 8-week high as energy shares climb

FILE PHOTO: A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) stock information is seen 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)/File Photo

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Monday to its highest level in nearly eight weeks, led by gains for energy and financial shares.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended up 179.89 points, or 0.8%, at 21,537.45, its highest closing level since Nov. 25.

Gains for the index were notched as shares globally recovered some ground after declines at the end of last week.

“Overseas market action has been positive and we’re basically benefiting from it,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management.

The energy sector rose 1.7% as oil prices climbed. U.S. crude oil futures were up 0.6%, with investors expecting that global supply will remain tight despite a rise in Libyan output.

Technology and financials, the Toronto market’s most heavily-weighted sector, both gained 1.2%, while the materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.5%.

TSX trading volumes were lower than usual as U.S. markets were closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Canadian firms see labor shortages intensifying and wage pressures increasing, with strong demand growth and supply chain constraints putting upward pressure on prices, a regular Bank of Canada survey said, bolstering bets the central bank would hike interest rates as early as next week.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Additional reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Paul Simao

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