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In this file photo, workers are seen assembling iron core transformers at Hammond Power Solutions in Guelph, Ont.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

A gauge of business conditions for Canada's manufacturing sector moved into positive territory in June for the first time since January, although Alberta and B.C. continued to lag other regions.

The RBC Canadian manufacturing index rose to 51.3 last month, indicating the sector's purchasing managers were generally optimistic about growth prospects.

RBC says the Alberta-British Columbia index remained negative at 44.7 — mainly because of the impact of the drop in oil prices since last year — but the other three regional indexes were above the 50.0 mark that indicates expansion.

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Ontario's regional index hit a seven-month high of 57.0, up from 55.5 in May.

"The province was likely a main beneficiary of rising exports with lower oil prices both supporting U.S. growth and weakening the Canadian dollar," Royal Bank said in its analysis Thursday.

The Quebec index rose to 52.0 from 50.1 in May and the "Rest of Canada" index rose to 57.5 from 55.9 in May.

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