April 24, 2020 / 2:26 PM / a month ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX gains as higher oil prices boost energy stocks

April 24 (Reuters) - Energy stocks pushed Canada’s main index higher on Friday, as oil bounced at the end of a torrid week that saw U.S. crude prices fall into negative territory.

* The energy sector climbed 1.7% as U.S. crude prices were up 5.4% a barrel, while Brent crude added 3.3%.

* Still, crude prices are heading for their eighth weekly loss in the last nine. U.S. West Texas Intermediate fell into negative territory, to minus $37.63 a barrel on Monday.

* At current levels, Canada’s main index is on pace to end marginally lower, snapping a four-week winning streak.

* At 9:36 a.m. ET (13:36 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 95.08 points, or 0.67%, at 14,346.17.

* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 2% as gold futures rose 0.6% to $1,744 an ounce.

* Gold prices were boosted by central bank stimulus measures and investor appetite for a safe haven as fears of the economic damage caused by the novel coronavirus mounted.

* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Torex Gold Resources, which jumped 6.6% after BMO began coverage on stock with an “outperform” rating.

* Baytex Energy Co, followed closely behind with a 5.2% rise.

* Also helping the main index was Barrick Gold Corp , which rose 2%. Papua New Guinea’s government will take control of the Porgera gold mine after refusing to extend Barrick’s lease over the facility, citing environmental concerns

* On the TSX, 178 issues were higher, while 46 issues declined for a 3.87-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with 13.70 million shares traded.

* Transcontinental Inc fell 5.7%, the most on the TSX, while Shawcor Ltd, down 1.7%, was the second biggest decliner.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Osisko Mining Inc and Katanga Mining Ltd.

* The TSX posted six new 52-week highs and no new low.

* Across all Canadian issues there were 10 new 52-week highs and two new lows, with total volume of 31.27 million shares. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

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