July 17 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Wednesday as shares of precious metal miners were boosted by higher gold prices.
* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.2%.
* Data showed that Canada’s annual inflation rate in June fell to 2.0% from 2.4% in May, as expected, largely due to lower month-over-month energy prices.
“The drop in headline inflation isn’t going to be the cause of any concern at the Bank of Canada. Their forecast called for this, and to the extent that core inflation edged lower as well, that’s going to make them a little more comfortable in their stance on the sidelines,” said Robert Both, macro strategist at TD Securities.
* At 9:40 a.m. ET (1340 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 27.35 points, or 0.17%, at 16,529.77.
* In a bright spot, Canadian factory sales rose by 1.6% in May, the most in a year, boosted by strong demand for motor vehicles and parts after auto plants that had temporarily shut down resumed production, Statistics Canada said.
* Seven of the index’s 11 major sectors were higher, with health care companies leading the gains.
* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were First Majestic Silver Corp and Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd which rose 4.9% and 3.8% respectively.
* On the TSX, 139 issues were higher, while 88 issues declined for a 1.58-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with 10.50 million shares traded.
* West Fraser Timber Co fell 1.9%, the most on the TSX, and the second-biggest decliner was SNC-Lavalin Group , down 1.5%.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Crius Energy Trust, Aurora Cannabis and Sherritt International Corp.
* The TSX posted nine new 52-week highs and two new lows.
* Across all Canadian issues, there were 11 new 52-week highs and four new lows, with total volume of 19.63 million shares. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)