(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index was little changed on Wednesday as gains in materials and industrials sectors offset a drop in energy stocks.
* At 9:51 a.m. ET (13:51 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 10.05 points, or 0.06 percent, at 16,107.86.
* Canadian manufacturing sales rose more than expected in March on strength in primary metals, aerospace products and parts, fabricated metals and other transportation equipment, Statistics Canada said.
* Five of the index’s 11 major sectors were higher, led by the materials sector.
* The sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.4 percent as spot gold rose 0.6 percent.
* The industrials sector rose 0.4 percent.
* The energy sector was down 0.2 percent as U.S. crude prices fell 0.6 percent, while Brent crude lost 0.7 percent.
* The United States is pushing for a deal in negotiations on a revised North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and President Donald Trump is committed to getting a better agreement with Canada and Mexico, the White House said.
* On the TSX, 145 issues were higher, while 95 issues declined for a 1.53-to-1 ratio favoring gainers, with 20.85 million shares traded.
* Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd rose 3.2 percent after the Canadian government said it is ready to indemnify the pipeline operator’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion against unnecessary delays that are politically motivated.
* The biggest percentage gainer on the TSX was First Majestic Silver, which jumped 3.9 percent.
* Prometic Life Sciences fell 8.0 percent, the most on the TSX, after it reported first-quarter results. Aurora Cannabis’ 4.6 percent drop made it the second-biggest decliner.
* Home Capital Group was up 0.9 percent after the mortgage lender said its unit got a two-year C$500 million funding commitment to replace a C$2 billion credit facility offered by Berkshire Hathaway.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Aurora Cannabis and Neovasc (down 11.1 percent). Aphria fell 1.9 percent on news that it entered a deal with Colombia-based Colcanna SAS to supply medical cannabis.
* The TSX posted five new 52-week highs and one new low.
* Across all Canadian issues there were 10 new 52-week highs and 25 new lows, with total volume of 38.66 million shares. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru)
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