(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Thursday on optimism of a revised North American Free Trade Agreement as top U.S. and Canadian trade negotiators were set for a second day of talks.
* Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland sounded sanguine on Wednesday as she emerged from negotiations with top U.S. trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer, although she cautioned that no trade deal was done until the last issue was nailed down.
* Nine of the index’s 11 major sectors were higher, led by the materials sector’s 1.1 percent gain.
* Gold futures rose 0.6 percent to $1,202 an ounce, while copper prices advanced 1.4 percent to $5,955 a tonne. [GOL/] [MET/L]
* At 9:41 a.m. ET (13:41 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 9.09 points, or 0.06 percent, at 16,146.66.
* The biggest drag to the main index was the health care sector, down 3.13 percent weighed down by a decline in cannabis companies.
* Aurora Cannabis fell 6.6 percent, the most on the TSX, and Canopy Growth , down 5.9 percent, was the second biggest decliner.
* Continental Gold declined 1.6 percent after the miner said one engineer from its Buritica mine in Colombia was killed and another wounded in an attack early on Wednesday.
* On the TSX, 147 issues were higher, while 89 issues declined for a 1.65-to-1 ratio favoring gainers, with 16.76 million shares traded.
* The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Maxar Technologies, which jumped 5.1 percent after the U.S. government renewed a contract valued at $44 million.
* Alimentation Couche-Tard, rose 4.3 percent and was among the biggest gainers, after the world’s second-biggest convenience store operator reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Aurora Cannabis, Aphria and Centric Health.
* The TSX posted four new 52-week highs and four new lows.
* Across all Canadian issues there were 13 new 52-week highs and 10 new lows, with total volume of 29.01 million shares.
Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta