TSX rises slightly but critical miners drag

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

By Nikhil Sharma and Divya Rajagopal

(Reuters) -Canada's main stock index eked out a slight gain on Monday as declines in resources shares were more than offset by gains in the real estate and healthcare sectors.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index closed up 0.3%.

Copper miners were the biggest drag, weighing down the materials sector that slipped 0.5% over concerns about Canadian restrictions against future M&A critical mineral deals. The biggest loser was First Quantum Minerals , which fell nearly 5% as investors booked profits on the volatile stock.

Lundin Gold was the top gainer with a 5% jump even as gold prices declined on profit-booking after bullion crossed a one-month high in the previous session.[GOL/]

Healthcare real estate firm NorthWest Healthcare Properties closed up 4%.

Healthcare, which rose more than 1%, and real estate, which gained nearly 2%, were the day's best-performing sectors.

Lower oil prices weighed on the energy sector, which eased as hopes for a ceasefire in Gaza eased supply disruption worries. [O/R]

Wall Street indexes also rose on Monday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hitting intraday record highs.[.N]

U.S. jobs data on Friday showed job growth was moderating, firming bets of an interest-rate cut by the Federal Reserve in September.

Markets will closely assess Fed Chair Jerome Powell's comments during his semi-annual testimony, alongside the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) reading, expected later this week.

"(The Fed would) rather make a mistake on holding rates higher for longer and tipping the economy into somewhat of a recession versus cutting too early and having inflation kind of pick up on them again", said Denis Taillefer, senior portfolio manager at Caldwell Investment Management.

Earnings season is set to commence with big U.S. banks scheduled to report their quarterly earnings on Friday.

After the Bank of Canada trimmed rates last month, market participants are now pricing in a 61.5% chance of another cut at its next meeting on July 24. [0#BOCWATCH]

(Reporting by Nikhil Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Shreya Biswas and Rod Nickel)