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TSX rises to near 6-month high as tech sector rallies

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Thursday to its highest closing level in nearly six months as technology and gold mining shares climbed and despite mixed earnings reports from major banks.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended up 72.19 points, or 0.4%, at 20,525.45, its highest closing level since June 9.

Wall Street was mixed but held on to much of the previous day's sharp gains and bond yields tumbled as U.S. data supported bets that the Federal Reserve would soon cool the pace of interest rate hikes.

Higher interest rates have been particularly damaging for high growth sectors such as technology, lowering the value to investors of the future cash flows that companies in the sector are expected to produce.

The Toronto market's technology sector gained 2.8%, while the materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies added 1.8% as the price of gold climbed above $1,800 per ounce.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Bank of Montreal and Toronto-Dominion Bank joined their bigger peers in setting aside more money to cover potential loan defaults by inflation-hit customers.

CIBC fell 7.7%, while BMO rose 1.2% and TD Bank ended 2.6% higher.

Energy was a drag, falling 1.2% even as easing of COVID-19 curbs in China helped bolster oil prices. U.S. crude oil futures settled 0.8% higher at $81.22 a barrel.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Additional reporting by Johann M Cherian in Bengaluru; Editing by Alistair Bell)

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