* TSX up 59.06 points, or 0.38 percent, at 15,657.63
* Seven of the TSX's 10 main groups higher
(Updates to close, adds analyst comment)
TORONTO/OTTAWA, March 29 Canada's main stock
index rose modestly on Wednesday as a more than 2 percent
increase in oil prices boosted shares of energy and resource
A smaller-than-expected increase in U.S. crude inventories
along with supply disruptions in Libya helped lift U.S. crude
futures $1.14, or 2.4 percent, to $49.51 a barrel.
Canadian Natural Resources was the biggest lift on
the Canadian stock index, rising 2.4 percent to C$43.86,
followed by Suncor Energy, which was up 1.5 percent at
C$42.05. The energy sector as a whole rose 2.2
Investors on Bay Street also shrugged off the official start
of Britain's divorce from the European Union.
That suggests the market could be more resilient to
geopolitical factors than had been anticipated after only a
muted market response to U.S. Republican leaders pulling
legislation to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system last week,
said Bryden Teich, portfolio manager at Avenue Investment
Management in Toronto.
"There's more of a floor to the market than people had been
giving credit to," Teich said.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
closed up 59.06 points, or 0.38 percent, at 15,657.63.
Of the index's 10 main groups, seven were in positive
Materials stocks also helped support the market, with the
sector up 0.7 percent. Shares of Teck Resources
were up 1.8 percent at C$29.54 after the company
reconfirmed its annual production guidance.
Toronto-Dominion Bank shares edged up 0.4 percent at
C$66.13 the day before executives were set to face shareholders
after media reports which suggested branch staff were pressured
to meet sales targets.
Bank stocks have rallied in recent sessions, though the
sector is still down 1.6 percent since the report by
the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was first published this
(Reporting by John Tilak in Toronto and Leah Schnurr in Ottawa;
Editing by James Dalgleish)