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At midday: Energy shares lead TSX slightly higher

A Bay Street sign, a symbol of Canada's economic markets and where main financial institutions are located, is seen in Toronto, May 1, 2013.

Mark Blinch/Reuters

Canada's main stock index edged up on Monday as higher oil prices lifted energy shares, offsetting declines led by mining issues and Bombardier Inc .

The energy group climbed 1.2 per cent, with Pembina Pipeline Corp rising 3.3 per cent to $43.50 and Encana Corp advancing 1.3 per cent to trade at $14.07.

U.S. crude prices were up 1.4 per cent to $51.36 a barrel, and Brent a global benchmark, rose more than 2 percent to top $58 a barrel, reaching its highest in eight months.

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Oil rallied after major producers said the global market was on track towards rebalancing, while Turkey threatened to cut oil flows from Iraq's Kurdish region.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index rose 19.36 points, or 0.13 per cent, to 15,473.59.

Of the index's 10 main groups, six were in negative territory. The heavily weighted financials group also helped offset losses, gaining 0.2 per cent.

Bombardier Inc shares sank 7.6 per cent to $2.06, extending previous losses to hit a more than four-month low on news that Siemens AG will likely choose French rival Alstom SA over the Canadian company in a multibillion-dollar rail merger.

The Montreal-based plane and train maker is also awaiting a U.S. court ruling on a CSeries dumping complaint by Boeing Co.

The industrials group fell 0.4 per cent. Canadian National Railway, a hefty member of the sector, was down 0.9 per cent to $100.19.

The materials sector which includes precious and base metals miners as well as fertilizer companies, were among the biggest drags on the index, losing 0.6 per cent.

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Miner Teck Resources Ltd fell 2.8 per cent to $26.34, while First Quantum Minerals Ltd gave back 1.9 per cent to $13.77.

U.S. stocks fell sharply in late morning trading on Monday after North Korea accused the United States of declaring war and a selloff in technology stocks accelerated.

North Korea's foreign minister said President Donald Trump had declared war on North Korea and that Pyongyang reserves the right to take countermeasures.

The five tech giants - Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet - were down between 3.7 per cent and 1.05 per cent, weighing on the three major indexes.

The S&P technology index slid 1.37 per cent, on track for its worst single-day percentage loss since Aug. 17. The index, however, has climbed 23 per cent so far this year, outperforming the 11.5 per cent gain in the broader S&P index.

"Technology stocks have been outperformers for a while, so it could be a slight amount of profit taking," said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.

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Heightened expectations of another interest rate hike this year following comments from a Federal Reserve official also added to the downbeat sentiment.

The central bank is on track to gradually raise interest rates as factors depressing inflation are fading and the U.S. economy's fundamentals are sound, New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley said.

Investors are also awaiting a speech by Fed Chief Janet Yellen later in the week for more guidance on the monetary policy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 92.38 points, or 0.41 per cent, at 22,257.21, the S&P 500 was down 9.5 points, or 0.38 per cent, at 2,492.72 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 62.65 points, or 0.97 per cent, at 6,364.28.

Six of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower. While tech sector was the biggest laggard, the energy index was the biggest gainer, rising 0.91 per cent.

Oil prices hit eight-month highs after major producers said the global market was on its way towards rebalancing.

General Motors rose 2.36 per cent after Deutsche Bank upgraded the automaker's stock to "buy", pointing to its autonomous vehicles, which could be ready for deployment within quarters.

Allergan was up more than 3.72 per cent after the drugmaker authorized a $2-billion buyback of its shares and said its chief financial officer would retire.

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