Fall in healthcare shares pulls main index down

(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index declined on Wednesday as the healthcare sector fell more than 6 percent, led by losses in Cannabis shares.

A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) stock information is seen in Toronto June 23, 2014. Canada's main stock index was little changed on Monday as weakness in financial and energy shares offset gains in the materials sector. REUTERS/Mark Blinch (CANADA - Tags: BUSINESS)

* Canada became the first industrialized nation to legalize recreational cannabis on Wednesday, but a lawful buzz will be hard to come by in its biggest cities like Toronto and Vancouver, which will have no stores open.

* Aurora Cannabis fell 11.6 percent, the most on the TSX. The company said its Aurora Sky production plant was granted a sales license by Canada’s healthcare regulator.

* Aphria, down 10 percent, was the second biggest decliner on the main index.

* At 9:42 a.m. ET (13:42 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 71.38 points, or 0.46 percent, at 15,508.36.

* Also weighing on the main index was the energy sector, which fell 0.9 percent as U.S. crude prices were down 1.1 percent per barrel, while Brent crude lost 0.8 percent. [O/R]

* Six of the index’s 11 major sectors were lower, with the healthcare sector’s 6.82 pct drop being the steepest.

* On the TSX, 69 issues were higher, while 172 issues declined for a 2.49-to-1 ratio to the downside, with traded volume touching 26.04 million shares.

* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were First Majestic Silver, which rose 1.1 percent and Fortis Inc, which increased 0.9 percent.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Azarga Uranium , Aurora Cannabis and Aphria.

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

* Across all Canadian issues, there was only one new 52-week high and 7 new lows, with total volume of 57.15 million shares.

Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel