TORONTO -- Oil and gas company stocks helped drive Canada's main stock index higher Monday as waning fears that a trade war would break out helped power Wall Street higher.

The S&P/TSX composite index climbed 156.69 points to 15,541.28. Among the biggest gainers in the energy sector were Crew Energy Inc. and Baytex Energy Corp., up 17.31 per cent and 10.22 per cent, respectively, at the closing of markets.

The health-care sector which includes the volatile marijuana stocks also played a significant role in the TSX's broad-based advance, jumping nearly six per cent. Among individual companies, cannabis producer Canopy Growth Corp. was up 11.66 per cent.

South of the border, U.S. stocks surged as House Speaker Paul Ryan criticized tariffs of 25 per cent on imported steel and 10 per cent on aluminum proposed by President Donald Trump last week, urging him not to go through with them.

Investors are hoping the White House won't follow through on the tariffs, which have sparked fears of escalating retaliation between countries that could stymie a global economy growing in sync.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 336.70 points to 24,874.76. The S&P 500 index was up 29.69 points to 2,720.94 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 72.83 points to 7,330.70.

"Today gave investors a little bit of relief after the market jitters from last week," said Steve Belisle, a senior portfolio manager of equities at Manulife Asset Management.

Also weighing on investors in recent weeks has been how quickly interest rates will rise. Stocks began to fall in early February after U.S. jobs data showed wages growing more than anticipated, raising worries that creeping signs of higher inflation might push the U.S. Federal Reserve to increase interest rates more quickly. That has investors keyed in for Friday, when the latest U.S. jobs report will arrive from the government.

In currency markets, the Canadian dollar closed at an average trading value of 77.06 cents US, down 0.51 of a U.S. cent.

On the commodities front, the April crude contract was up US$1.32 cents to US$62.57 per barrel and the April natural gas contract was up one cent at US$2.70 per mmBTU.

The April gold contract was down US$3.50 to US$1,319.90 an ounce and the May copper contract was unchanged at US$3.13 a pound.

Companies in this story: (TSX:CR, TSX:BTE, TSX:WEED)