TSX falls on energy drag, dismal Aphria earnings

(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Thursday, weighed down by energy stocks as oil prices slumped, while pot producer Aphria Inc’s downbeat earnings further dented sentiment.

FILE PHOTO: The Art Deco facade of the original Toronto Stock Exchange building is seen on Bay Street in Toronto, Ontario, Canada January 23, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

* The energy sector dropped 2%, weighed down by U.S. crude prices, which fell 3.5% a barrel, and Brent crude, which lost 3.1%, as new COVID-19 restrictions raised concerns over the outlook for economic growth and a recovery in fuel demand. [O/R]

* At 9:40 a.m. ET (13:40 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 130.79 points, or 0.79%, at 16,324.61.

* Aphria Inc fell 13.5%, the most on the TSX, after the pot producer missed estimates for its first-quarter revenue.

* The second biggest decliner was Ballard Power Systems Inc, down 6.6%, after the fuel-cell products developer sold its Unmanned Aerial Vehicle business assets to Honeywell International Inc.

* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 1% as gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,895.5 an ounce. [GOL/]

* On the TSX, 14 issues rose, while 207 issues fell in a 14.79-to-1 ratio favoring losers, with 13.38 million shares traded.

* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Aritzia Inc ATZ.TO, which jumped 5.1%, and Lundin Mining Corp LUN.TO, which rose 0.7%, after multiple brokerages raised the price target on both companies' stock.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Aphria Inc APHA.TO, Bombardier Inc BBDb.TO, and Suncor Energy Corp SU.TO.

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

* Across all Canadian issues there were six new 52-week highs and six new lows, with total 27.34 million shares traded.

Reporting by Amal S; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi