By Fergal Smith
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rallied on Thursday as technology shares basked in the glow of Facebook-parent Meta Platform's upbeat earnings, while sharp gains for Suncor Energy boosted the energy sector.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended up 376.83 points, or 1.8%, at 21,121.06, its biggest gain since Dec. 21.
"It is a market risk-on day for sure," said Sadiq Adatia, chief investment officer at BMO Asset Management. "We have some good numbers coming out of earnings."
U.S. markets also rallied after a strong quarterly report from Meta Platforms lifted beaten down technology and growth stocks and offset worries about the U.S. economy's contraction in the first quarter.
Equity markets have been pressured in recent days by worries that the war in Ukraine, as well as COVID-19 lockdowns in China and potentially aggressive interest rate hikes by central banks will slow global economic growth.
The Toronto market's technology sector rose 2.5%, while energy ended 5.1% higher. It was led by a 12% jump in the shares of Suncor Energy after hedge fund Elliott Management pushed the company to undertake a strategic review of its business and refresh its board.
Higher oil prices added to support for energy. U.S. crude oil futures settled 3.3% higher at $105.36 a barrel after reports that Germany is no longer opposed to an embargo on Russian oil, which could further tighten supplies in the already stressed global crude market.
"We still like the energy sector. We think that the demand-supply situation is still going to be very favorable for the foreseeable future," Adatia said.
The heavily-weighted financials sector advanced 1.7%, while the materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, was up 1.4%.
Gold rose 0.5% to about 1,895 per ounce.
(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Additional reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Alistair Bell)