September 28, 2018 / 2:33 PM / 2 months ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX drops as trade concerns cloud strong economic growth

Sept 28 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Friday as worries over NAFTA negotiations overshadowed a stronger-than-expected domestic economic growth that raised expectations of another interest rate hike.

* At 9:56 a.m. ET (13:56 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 64.61 points, or 0.4 percent, at 16,140.01.

* The Trump administration is expected to release the text of its bilateral trade deal with Mexico on Friday and which could exclude Canada from the revamped NAFTA pact as there was little optimism a trade deal with the country could be reached quickly.

* On the economic front, Canada’s economy expanded 0.2 percent in July, greater than the 0.1 percent growth predicted by analysts in a Reuters poll, increasing market expectations of another interest rate hike next month.

* Seven of the index’s 11 major sectors were lower, with bank stocks leading the declines.

* The financials sector, which accounts for more than a third of the main index’s weight, slipped 0.3 percent.

* Bank of Montreal, down 0.7 percent, and Bank of Nova Scotia, off 0.6 percent, were the biggest laggards on the financial group.

* The energy sector dropped 0.2 percent, second biggest drag on the main index.

* Leading declines among energy stocks were Enbridge , Canadian Natural Resources, TransCanada Corp , down between 0.4 percent and 0.8 percent.

* The industrials sector fell 0.4 percent.

* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.1 percent as gold futures rose 0.3 percent to $1,185.2 an ounce, while copper prices advanced 0.5 percent to $6,217.5 a tonne.

* On the TSX, 104 issues were higher, while 124 issues declined for a 1.19-to-1 ratio to the downside, with 9.79 million shares traded.

* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Blackberry , which jumped 4.8 percent after posting better-than-expected quarterly profit and Nexgen Energy, which rose 3.5 percent.

* Aurora Cannabis fell 2.9 percent, the most on the TSX, followed by Magna International, down 2.4 percent.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Aurora Cannabis, Royal Nickel, and Coro Mining Corp .

* The TSX posted one new 52-week highs and one new low.

* Across all Canadian issues, there were five new 52-week highs and 10 new lows, with total volume of 17.28 million shares. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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