By Fergal Smith
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Tuesday to its highest closing level in more than six weeks as hopes that China could ease its strict COVID-19 curbs helped bolster resource shares and after a technical glitch that interrupted trading activity.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended up 91.57 points, or 0.5%, at 19,517.71, its highest closing level since Sept. 19.
TMX Group, Canada's largest stock market operator, said its trading platforms experienced a connection issue that paused all equities trading activity for about an hour.
Shares of the exchange operator ended 1.3% lower.
"It is definitely a volatile time and not great timing (for an outage) given the big move in commodities," said Greg Taylor, portfolio manager at Purpose Investments.
"The commodities took off with all those China reopening rumors. So it would have been a day for the TSX to shine."
Rumors based on an unverified note circulated on social media that China, the world's second-largest oil consumer, was planning a reopening from strict COVID curbs in March.
U.S. crude oil futures settled 2.1% higher at $88.37 a barrel, while gold and copper prices also climbed.
Combined, the energy and materials sectors account for roughly 30% of the TSX's market capitalization.
Energy rose 1.3% and the materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, was up 2.4%.
Gains for the TSX came even as U.S. stocks closed lower for a second straight session, with labor market data dimming hopes the Federal Reserve might have enough reason to begin reducing the size of its interest rate hikes.
Among stocks on the TSX that lost ground was Thomson Reuters Corp. Its shares fell 3.2% after the company warned that any worsening of the economic outlook could impact its ability to meet targets.
(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Additional reporting by Shashwat Chauhan and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; editing by Jonathan Oatis)