CANADA STOCKS-TSX gains as oil price helps energy stocks

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TORONTO, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index climbed on Thursday as oil and gas shares recovered some losses from the previous session, in step with a fragile recovery in crude prices.

The index is dominated by resource-related issues, which have been broadly tracking the decline in oil prices for months.

“There’s a better tone today,” and oil prices were trying to find a floor, said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada.

Oil rose towards $56 a barrel, although traders and analysts said the prospect of a further, sustained rally from near six-year lows looked slim.

Suncor Energy gained 2.3 percent to C$38.35 and Canadian Natural Resources rose 3 percent to C$38.81.

“It still looks like it would be lower in the near term. My expectation is that there’s an attempt to form a bottom, and our market (the TSX) will follow. Volatility will continue,” Ing said.

He said overall valuations may be too optimistic, and the index could exhibit some further weakness.

“There still is room on the downside.”

Banks were broadly buoyant, with Toronto-Dominion Bank having the biggest positive influence on the index, up 1.4 percent at C$53.28. Royal Bank of Canada gained 1.1 percent to C$74.94 and Bank of Nova Scotia added 1.3 percent to C$64.25.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 159.84 points, or 1.07 percent, at 15,155.49 by mid-morning.

Reporting by Alastair Sharp and John Tilak; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Bernadette Baum