April 26 (Reuters) - Canada’s main index rose higher on Thursday as financial stocks were lifted by Bank of Canada chief’s positive comments on the economy, while rising oil prices buoyed the energy sector.
* At 9:38 a.m. ET (1338 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 34.42 points, or 0.22 percent, to 15,544.17.
* Bank of Canada Chief Stephen Poloz on Wednesday said the economy was “finally positive” after a long adjustment to a sharp fall in oil prices.
* Poloz also said that while interest rates would go up from their current low levels, moving too quickly could create a financial stability risk.
* The heavyweight financial sector, up around 1 percent, was boosted by Toronto-Dominion Bank and Royal Bank of Canada, both of which gained about 0.7 percent.
* Oil prices gained on concerns over renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran and declining output in Venezuela.
* Brent crude oil futures were up 74 cents at $74.74 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 31 cents at $68.36 per barrel.
* The TSX posted five new 52-week highs and two new lows. Across all Canadian issues there were eight new 52-week highs and 15 new lows.
* Seven of Canada’s 10 main index sectors were higher
* The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Stantec Inc , which rose 5.3 percent after the company initiated a strategic review of construction services provider MWH Constructors, a part of its company.
* New Gold shares fell 8.7 percent after the company reported first quarter results. The company was the largest decliner on TSX.
* Shares of Husky Energy Inc had fallen 0.2 percent after oil and gas producer lowered its 2018 output forecast, saying it would temporarily cut heavy oil production due to weakening prices of the commodity.
* Bombardier’s and Airbus SE aimed to close deal to sell majority stake in its CSeries jetliner program by late May, ahead of an initial timetable, sources told Reuters on Wednesday. Bombardier’s shares were up marginally
* Among the most active Canadian stocks by volume were Western Forest, Baytex Energy Co.
** Also among the most actively traded stocks was Precision Drilling, up 3.4 percent at $4.31, after the Canadian rig contractor reported a smaller-than-expected loss on Thursday as its U.S. clients deployed more of its rigs to take advantage of rising oil prices.
* Volume on the TSX index was 12.16 million shares. Total volume on Thursday was 19.29 million shares. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru)