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Toronto market climbs to 2-week high on broad-based gains

FILE PHOTO: The facade of the original Toronto Stock Exchange building is seen in Toronto

By Fergal Smith

(Reuters) -Canada's main stock index rose to a two-week high on Thursday, with heavily weighted financials and energy among the sectors to make headway in a broad-based move as long-term borrowing costs eased and commodity prices climbed.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended up 148.26 points, or 0.7%, at 21,942.16, its highest closing level since June 12.

"It's been a tough few weeks for the TSX, especially in comparison with the S&P," said Christine Tan, a portfolio manager at SLGI Asset Management Inc. "In the last couple of days, we've seen the TSX come back a little bit."

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The Toronto market was still on course to post a monthly decline, with the index down 1.5% since the beginning of June. U.S. benchmark the S&P 500 has advanced 3.9% over the same period.

"Our managers are really waiting to see what the earning season looks like and more importantly what guidance sounds like before we really get a good sense where the TSX is headed," Tan said.

All 10 major sectors on the Toronto market ended higher, including a gain of 1.3% for energy as the price of oil settled 1% higher at $81.74 a barrel.

Gold also rallied. That helped lift metal mining stocks, with the materials group gaining 0.4%.

Financials added 0.6%, while technology was up 1.4%, helped by a 10.5% gain for the shares of BlackBerry Ltd after the company beat first-quarter revenue estimates.

Bond yields eased as U.S. economic data showed a continued slowdown in activity. That helped boost interest rate sensitive stocks, with real estate adding 1.6% and utilities up 0.7%.

MDA Space Ltd shares jumped 13.5% after the company was awarded a contract to design and deliver a space robotics system.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith in Toronto and Nikhil Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Vijay Kishore, Shreya Biswas and David Gregorio)