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TSX notches biggest gain since April 2020 as tech jumps

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

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index surged for a second straight day on Tuesday, led by gains for technology and energy shares, as investors grew optimistic that the rapid pace of central bank interest rate hikes would soon ease.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended up 489.80 points, or 2.6%, at 19,370.99, its highest closing level since Sept. 19 and its biggest daily advance since April 2020.

On Monday, it was up by 2.4%.

Wall Street also posted sharp gains on Tuesday after softer U.S. economic data and Australia's smaller-than-expected interest rate hike stirred hope for less aggressive tightening by the Federal Reserve.

"I think the markets are starting to look a little more dovish based on what Australia did overnight and what the UK Bank of England did last week," said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management.

Last Wednesday, the BoE launched a bond-buying program in an effort to prevent market turmoil from spreading.

The Toronto market's technology sector rose 5.2%, helped by a 12.7% jump in the shares of e-commerce giant Shopify Inc.

Energy rose 4.5% as oil climbed more than 3% to $86.37 a barrel, with investors expecting a large output cut from the OPEC+ producer group.

Heavily weighted financials advanced 2.6% and the materials group added 1.8% as gold and copper prices climbed.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Additional reporting by Shashwat Chauhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Uttaresh.V and Maju Samuel)