November 23, 2018 / 3:16 PM / 17 days ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX tumbles as oil slide batters energy stocks

Nov 23 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index tumbled on Friday and was set for its worst week in nearly a month as a dive in oil prices hammered shares of energy companies.

* At 9:36 a.m. ET (1436 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite index was down 81.56 points, or 0.54 percent, at 15,010.02.

* Nine of the index’s 11 major sectors were in negative territory, as a 2.2 percent drop in the energy sector led declines.

* Crude prices fell to their lowest in over a year, on continued fears about a rising global surplus, even as producers considered cutting output to curb supply. The recent weakening in the price of U.S. oil has added to headwinds for Canada’s oil patch.

* U.S. crude was down 6.1 percent, while Brent crude lost 4.4 percent.

* Among other weak spots, the materials sector, which houses precious and base metals miners, lost 1.1 percent after gold slipped as the dollar regained momentum.

* Domestic data showed above target inflation and markets saw few signs that the Bank of Canada would hike interest rates next month.

* However, Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins said on Thursday, vulnerabilities in the Canadian housing market are still high despite rising interest rates and tighter mortgage rules.

* The Bank of Canada has hiked interest rates five times since July 2017, is due to announce its next rate decision on Dec 5.

* On the TSX, 50 issues were higher, while 191 issues declined for a 3.82-to-1 ratio to the downside, with 11.43 million shares traded.

* Top percentage gainers on the TSX were shares of FirstService Corp, which jumped 2.1 percent, followed by a 1.5 percent rise in shares of Sierra Wireless.

* Shares of energy companies led laggards on the TSX, with 5.2 percent fall in shares of Ensign Energy Services followed by a 4.8 percent drop in shares of Kelt Exploration .

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Bombardier , Crescent Point Energy Corp and Aurora Cannabis.

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

* Across all Canadian issues there was one new 52-week high and 25 new lows, with total volume of 18.32 million shares. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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