By Fergal Smith
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Thursday in lighter than usual trading as heavily weighted financial and technology stocks contributed to broad-based gains.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended up 64.75 points, or 0.3%, at 21,613.18, adding to gains on Tuesday and Wednesday.
With U.S. markets closed for Thanksgiving, the volume of trading was the lightest since July 5.
"We still believe we are in a secular bull market," said Irwin Michael, a portfolio manager at ABC Funds. "Economic growth is continuing. We do not see recession at this point."
Canadian payroll employment rose by 91,100 in September, the fourth consecutive monthly increase, data from Statistics Canada showed.
The benchmark Canadian equity index, which scaled record highs this month, ran out of steam last week, hurt by weaker commodities and the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Europe threatening to slow down global economic recovery.
Still, the index has rallied 24% since the start of the year, almost matching gains for the S&P 500.
"Those investors who have missed out on a big rally, they might want to window dress," Michael said, referring to the practice of buying winning stocks and selling losing stocks ahead of a reporting period, such as year-end.
Nine of the 11 major sectors on the TSX were higher on Thursday, including a gain of 0.7% for technology and a 0.4% advance for financials. Together, financials and technology account for about 46% of the Toronto market's value.
Energy advanced 0.2% despite a decline in crude oil prices as investors eyed how major producers respond to the U.S.-led emergency oil release designed to cool the market.
The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.2%.
(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Additional reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; editing by Jonathan Oatis)