TSX closes in the green, powered by energy gains

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

By Khushi Singh and Nivedita Balu

(Reuters) -Canada's main stock index closed higher on Tuesday, boosted by gains in energy stocks, while markets remained cautious ahead of U.S. inflation data.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 40.32 points, or 0.2%, at 20,223.08.

Heavyweight energy sector climbed 2.14% as U.S. crude prices were up 1.8% a barrel, while Brent crude added 1.6%. [O/R]

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Tuesday stuck to an upbeat oil demand growth forecast for this year and next, citing resilient economic growth despite rising interest rates.

"We have seen crude oil rise to a 10-month high and that's certainly benefiting the TSX," said Angelo Kourkafas, senior investment strategist at Edward Jones.

Investors will closely track industry data on U.S. crude stocks, due at 2030 GMT. Crude inventories are expected to have fallen by about 2 million barrels in the week to Sept. 8, a Reuters poll showed on Monday. [EIA/S]

The energy sector has the second biggest influence on the Toronto Stock Exchange's $2.37 trillion S&P/TSX composite index, which houses 226 companies and has climbed 24.4% in the past three years.

"At the same time, it (high oil prices) is feeding into higher inflation expectations. The focus this week, both in the U.S. and Canada, is going to be tomorrow's U.S. CPI report," Kourkafas said.

Markets await U.S. consumer price inflation data on Wednesday that could provide clues to the path ahead for the Federal Reserve's interest rates.

The healthcare sector fell 3.8%, leading sectoral declines.

Rate-sensitive technology shares fell 1%. In the U.S., Wall Street stocks ended lower after shares of cloud-computing giant Oracle tumbled more than 13% after a weak forecast and surging oil prices deepened worries about persistent price pressures ahead. [.N]

Meanwhile, a top lobbying group for the Canadian banking industry slammed the federal government's proposals to levy huge taxes on the country's financial sector and said the policy could hurt lending, The Globe and Mail reported on Tuesday.

($1= C$1.3548)

(Reporting by Khushi Singh in Bengaluru and Nivedita Balu in Toronto; Editing by Tasim Zahid and Josie Kao)