March 23 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Friday, led by the materials sector as gold prices surged to a one-month high, a day after the index posted its worst day since September 2016 on fears of a global trade war.
Fears of retaliatory trade tariffs sent investors scrambling for safe assets such as gold, lifting stocks of miners Barrick Gold Corp and Goldcorp by more than 2 percent.
The financial sector was down nearly 10 points after data showed inflation jumped to a three-year high in February, raising the prospect of an interest rate hike.
The Bank of Canada has a 2.0 percent target for inflation, and has raised interest rates three times since July 2017, with markets expecting another hike by this July.
“It’s (inflation) slightly above 2 percent, and we haven’t seen much of that in recent years. It’s not like inflation is at a worrisome level, but it also can’t be used as a reason for outright caution by the Bank of Canada,” said Doug Porter, chief economist, BMO Capital Markets
At 10:10 a.m. ET (1410 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 12.04 points, or 0.08 percent, to 15,411.97.
The TSX posted two new 52-week highs and five new lows. Across all Canadian issues there were four new 52-week highs and 21 new lows.
The top percentage gainer on the TSX was Canopy Growth Co , which rose 6.2 percent, while the largest decliner was Ivanhoe Mines, down 2.7 percent.
Among the most active Canadian stocks by volume were Aurora Cannabis, up 5.6 percent to $10.17; Canopy Growth Co , up 6.2 percent to $33.65.
Volume on the TSX index was 42.73 million shares, while the total volume on Friday was 62.40 million shares. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)