Toronto stock market gains as investor sentiment recovers

TORONTO, April 10 (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index rose modestly on Monday as healthcare and energy stocks rallied and investor confidence continued to improve after fears of a global banking crisis hurt sentiment last month.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index (.GSPTSE) closed up 79.13 points, or 0.4%, at 20,196.69.

“I think that we’re overall just seeing investor confidence slowly improving since last month,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management.

“We started out flat to slightly lower and now we’re slightly higher, so overall not a bad day.”

Toronto’s composite index kicked off the week down 42.32 points, of 0.21%, at 20,154.37, weighed down by concerns about further rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Healthcare stocks (.GSPTTHC) led gains, up 2.7%, with marijuana producer Tilray Brands Inc rising 6.3% amid reports it plans to acquire Canadian rival Hexo Corp (HEXO.TO) in a deal worth about $250 million. Tilray is also due to announce results later on Monday.

The energy sector (.SPTTEN) rose 0.8% on Monday after the largest U.S. oil producer Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) reportedly held preliminary talks with Pioneer Natural Resources Co (PXD.N) about a possible acquisition of the shale oil producer.

Teck Resources Ltd (TECKb.TO) ended the day down 2.6% after reiterating its rejection of an unsolicited bid from Glencore Plc (GLEN.L), and recommended that shareholders vote for its own restructuring plan instead.

The materials sector (.GSPTTMT), which includes precious metals, ended the day down 0.1%, tracking weakness in gold and silver prices. GOL/ MET/L

Technology (.SPTTTK) stocks rose 0.7% while financials (.SPTTFS) gained 0.4%.

Investors are also awaiting the Bank of Canada’s decision on further monetary tightening, and analysts largely expect the central bank to keep the benchmark rate at 4.5%. 0#BOCWATCH

Reporting by Maiya Keidan, editing by Deepa Babington

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