(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Friday, set for its fourth straight weekly gain, as an increase in oil prices lifted shares of energy companies.
* At 9:32 a.m. ET (1432 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 87.31 points, or 0.57 percent, at 15,298.53.
* The energy sector rose 1.1 percent, the most among the index’s 11 major sectors.
* U.S. crude prices and Brent crude added more than 1 percent each, after an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) report showed its production fell sharply last month, easing some concerns about prolonged oversupply. [O/R]
* On the macro-economic front, Canada’s annual inflation rate in December edged up to 2 percent from 1.7 percent in November, mainly due to the growing air transportation and telephone service costs that offset lower energy prices, Statistics Canada said.
* However, the stronger-than-expected inflation reading was unlikely to encourage Bank of Canada to immediately raise interest rates, economists said.
* The inflation data also helped the loonie, which rose against its American counterpart.
* Still, the financials sector gained 0.7 percent.
* On the TSX, 182 issues were higher, while 51 issues declined for a 3.57-to-1 ratio favoring gainers, with traded volume touching 7.63 million shares.
* The biggest percentage gainers on the TSX were shares of Cronos Group Inc, which rose 4.2 percent, followed by a 3.7 percent gain in Canopy Growth Co, after brokerage CIBC initiated its coverage on both cannabis producers with “outperform” ratings.
* Iamgold Corp fell 4.5 percent, the most on the TSX, after BMO cut its rating on the gold producer to “market perform” from “outperform”.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were those of Aurora Cannabis, Trevali Mining and Hexo Corp.
* The TSX posted one new 52-week high and no new low.
* Across all Canadian issues, there were four new 52-week highs and one new low, with total volume touching 13.15 million shares.
Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel
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