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TSX posts biggest gain in 7 weeks as investors eye bargains

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

By Fergal Smith

(Reuters) -Canada's main stock index rose by the most in seven weeks on Monday, clawing back some recent declines, as investors rotated their holdings out of technology into resource and interest rate sensitive shares.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended up 293.73 points, or 1.4%, at 21,848.59, its biggest gain since May 6. On Friday, the index posted its fifth straight weekly decline.

"It's been overdue for a rebound," said Elvis Picardo, a portfolio manager at Luft Financial, iA Private Wealth.

"There's possibly some profit taking in the big caps ... I think there's some sector rotation going on too because some of the valuations in the other sectors look really attractive. When that kind of sector rotation tends to happen it generally benefits the TSX."

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The TSX's forward price earnings ratio, a key valuation metric, at 14.3, is much less than the 22.4 level for U.S. benchmark the S&P 500, data from LSEG shows.

The energy sector rallied 3.4% as the price of oil settled 1.1% higher at $81.63 a barrel.

Gold and copper prices also climbed. That helped lift the materials group, which includes metal miners and fertilizer companies, with the sector adding 1.1%.

Heavily weighted financials added 1.7%, while the utilities group, which includes many high-dividend paying shares that could particularly benefit from further interest rate cuts by the Bank of Canada, was up 2.4% and real estate added 2.1%.

There is enough slack in the Canadian labor market to allow for growth and the creation of more jobs even as the inflation rate continues to decline, BoC Governor Tiff Macklem said.

Technology lost ground, falling 0.6%, as some major U.S. chip stocks gave back some of this year's sharp gains.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith in Toronto and Nikhil Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Vijay Kishore and Marguerita Choy)