* The biggest contributor to the TSX gain was Canadian Natural Resources with 8.9 net index points. Energy was the top sector contributor.
* Leading the index were ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc , up 11.1 percent, Spartan Energy Corp , up 6.6 percent, and Vermilion Energy Inc , higher by 6 percent.
* Lagging shares were Aphria Inc , down 6.8 percent, Aurora Cannabis Inc, down 3.5 percent, and Kinaxis Inc, lower by 2.8 percent.
* On the TSX 126 issues advanced and 112 declined as a 1.1-to-1 ratio favored advancers. There were 20 new highs and 3 new lows, with total volume of 206.2 million shares.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Aurora Cannabis Inc , Cenovus Energy Inc and Baytex Energy Corp.
* The TSX's energy group rose 4.38 points, or 2.12 percent, while the financials sector slipped 0.16 points, or -0.05 percent.
* West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 0.11 percent, or $0.08, to $71.57 a barrel. Brent crude rose 0.15 percent, or $0.12, to $79.4 [O/R]
* The TSX is off 0.4 percent for the year.
(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch)