* TSX rises 35.46 points, or 0.23 percent, to 15,469.07
* Nine of the TSX's 10 main groups gain
TORONTO, March 24 Canada's main stock index rose
on Friday, led by financial and energy shares as oil prices
gained and after TransCanada Corp said the U.S.
Department of State issued a presidential permit for the
construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
At 9:50 a.m. ET (1350 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's
S&P/TSX composite index was up 35.46 points, or 0.23
percent, to 15,469.07.
The gains came as investors awaited a vote on a U.S.
healthcare bill, seen as a test of President Donald Trump's
ability to pass his legislative agenda, including tax cuts and
infrastructure spending that could boost economic growth,
TransCanada's shares rose 1.1 percent to C$62.44, while the
overall energy group gained 0.3 percent.
Prices of oil, one of Canada's major exports, were boosted
by hopes that an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting
Countries output cut was beginning to balance a
U.S. crude prices were up 0.4 percent at $47.89 a
barrel, while Brent crude added 0.4 percent to $50.77.
Nine of the index's 10 main groups rose, including a 0.2
percent gain for the heavyweight financials group, while
industrials rose 0.4 percent as railroad stocks gained ground.
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals
miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.2 percent, while spot
gold was little changed.
(Reporting by Fergal Smith)