August 21, 2018 / 2:45 PM / 3 months ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX gains as oil boost helps energy stocks

(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Tuesday as a rally in oil prices pushed energy shares higher.

* At 9:31 a.m. ET (13:31 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 42.88 points, or 0.26 percent, at 16,373.91. If current gains hold, the index will post fourth consecutive session of gains.

* Canada’s biggest province Ontario signed agreements with 26 cannabis producers including Canopy Growth Corp, Aurora Cannabis Inc and Aphria Inc to supply products when it begins online sales of recreational marijuana in October.

* Weed stocks gained on the news, with Aurora Cannabis leading the main index with a 5.7 percent jump. Canopy Growth Corp rose 5 percent and Aphria Inc, Hydropothecary Corp, CannTrust Holdings Inc rose between 3-3.8 percent.

* Ten of the index’s 11 major sectors were higher with the energy sector providing the biggest boost to the index with its 1.2 percent rise.

* The energy sector climbed 1.2 percent as oil prices gained on prospect of price support from U.S. sanctions on Iran though concerns around outlook for demand limited gains.

* Gains in shares of Suncor Energy and Canadian Natural Resources and Encana Corp lifted the energy group.

* U.S. crude prices were up 2.3 percent a barrel, while Brent crude added 0.9 percent.

* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.2 percent and became the second biggest support for the main index.

* Nutrien’s 0.3 percent rise and 0.8 percent gain in First Quantum Minerals and Goldcorp helped the materials sector’s advance.

* Gold futures rose 0.3 percent to $1,190.5 an ounce, while copper prices advanced 0.9 percent to $6,044.5 a tonne.

* The financials sector gained 0.1 percent. The industrials sector rose 0.2 percent.

* On the economic front, data showed Canadian wholesale trade decreased by 0.8 percent in June from May, the second decline in three months.

* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Aurora Cannabis and Meg Energy Corp, which rose 2.6 percent.

* Lucara Diamond fell 0.9 percent, the most on the TSX. The second biggest decliner was Torex Gold Resources , down 0.5 percent.

* On the TSX, 170 issues were higher, while 59 issues declined for a 2.88-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with 7.55 million shares traded.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Aurora Cannabis, Canopy Growth Co, and Royal Nickel .

* The TSX posted two new 52-week highs and no new lows.

* Across all Canadian issues there were 13 new 52-week highs and three new lows, with total volume of 14.52 million shares. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru)

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