TSX touches nearly four-week high on hopes of U.S.-China trade deal

(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index hit nearly four-week high on Wednesday, driven by optimism that United States and China could be nearing a trade deal, which also boosted oil prices by more than 2.5 percent.

FILE PHOTO: A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) stock information is seen in Toronto June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

* At 9:33 a.m. ET (14:33 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 65.75 points, or 0.45 percent, at 14,670.9, rising for the fourth session straight.

* World stocks also extended gains as China and the US ended talks that had lasted longer than expected, with signs of progress on issues, including purchases of U.S. farm and energy commodities and increased access to China’s markets.

* Bank of Canada’s interest rate decision is expected at 10:00 a.m.(1500 GMT) where the central bank is expected to leave its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 1.75 percent.

* All of the index’s 11 major sectors were higher, led by the energy sector’s 1.4 percent rise.

* U.S. crude prices were up 2.8 percent a barrel and Brent crude added 2.5 percent, also lifted by US-China trade talk optimism.

* The financials sector gained 0.3 percent and industrials sector rose 0.4 percent.

* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.6 percent.

* Domestic data showed housing starts fell in December as groundbreaking on multiple unit urban homes fell 6.8 percent, while single-detached urban starts also lost ground, data from the national housing agency showed on Wednesday.

* On the TSX, 200 issues were higher, while 33 issues declined for a 6.06-to-1 ratio favoring gainers, with 7.20 million shares traded.

* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were New Gold Inc NGD.TO, which jumped 5.6 percent, and First Quantum Minerals Ltd FM.TO, which rose 4.7 percent.

* Stella-Jones Inc SJ.TO fell 1.1 percent, the most on the TSX. The second biggest decliner was Aphria Inc APHA.TO, down 1.0 percent.

* Among the most heavily traded shares by volume were Aurora Cannabis Inc ACB.TO and Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO.

* The TSX posted one new 52-week high and no new lows.

* Across all Canadian issues, there were two new 52-week highs and one new low, with total volume of 12.63 million shares traded.

Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli