* TSX up 72.17 points, or 0.49 percent, at 14,745.65
* Five of 10 main index sectors advance
* Canadian Oil Sands jumps more than 16 percent
By John Tilak
TORONTO, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index advanced with higher oil prices on Monday as investors rushed to the battered energy sector to take advantage of appealing valuations.
Shares of energy producers extended a 4.7 percent gain in the previous session, when the oil price began rallying off multi-year lows as some concerns about excess supply began to ease.
The strength was somewhat offset by sluggish economic data from China and a slowdown in Canadian manufacturing sector growth.
“The decline we’ve seen in energy prices is going to disproportionately hit the Canadian economy this year,” said Stephen Lingard, portfolio manager of the Franklin Templeton Solutions group at Franklin Templeton Investments.
But he is more bullish about the energy sector than the broader Canadian equity market.
“I think the oil sector is interesting here,” said Lingard, who expects the price of oil to climb to the $50s by the end of the year. “This is starting to be a buying opportunity, and I like what the producers have done (in terms of cost cuts).”
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 72.17 points, or 0.49 percent, at 14,745.65. Five of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.
Financials, the index’s most heavily weighted sector, added 0.8 percent. Bank of Nova Scotia rose 1.3 percent to C$61.83, and Bank of Montreal was up 1.2 percent at C$73.77.
Shares of energy producers climbed 1.6 percent. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd gained 1.5 percent to C$37.40, and Suncor Energy Inc advanced 1.6 percent to C$38.50.
Canadian Oil Sands Ltd shot up 16.6 percent to C$9.15, following a 20.6 percent jump on Friday, as investors cheered the company’s recent aggressive moves to counter lower oil prices. (Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)