Feb 6 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index dropped on Wednesday, after a fall in oil prices dragged the energy sector lower and Bank of Canada’s comment that U.S. trade policies were holding back Canadian investments weighed on the market sentiment.
* At 9:40 a.m. ET (1440 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite index was down 12.44 points, or 0.08 percent, at 15,690.25.
* Four of the index’s 11 major sectors were down, with the energy sector fell the most at 1.4 percent.
* Oil prices declined after a report showed a rise in U.S. crude inventories, countering expectations of a tightening market in 2019 due to OPEC-led supply cuts and the U.S. sanctions on Venezuela.
* U.S. crude prices fell 0.6 percent, while Brent crude lost 0.6 percent.
* A deputy governor of the Bank of Canada said despite strong economic fundamentals, uncertainty over the U.S. trade policies are temporarily slowing growth.
* Lower oil prices and a softening housing market are also factors hindering growth in the country, in contrast to the U.S. economy, which is powering ahead on the effects of stimulus.
* The Canadian dollar will extend this year’s rally over the coming 12 months, according to a Reuters poll, as the U.S. dollar is expected to broadly fall, while global monetary policy to stay looser than previously expected.
* The financials sector gained 0.3 percent.
* On the TSX, 100 issues were higher, while 125 issues declined for a 1.25-to-1 ratio to the downside, with traded volume touching 16.72 million shares.
* The largest percentage gainer on the TSX were ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc, which surged 12 percent after the company’s quarterly results topped expectations.
* Aphria Inc fell 5.9 percent, the most on the TSX, after rejecting a hostile takeover bid from U.S. cannabis retailer Green Growth Brands Inc, saying the offer significantly undervalued the company.
* The second biggest decliner was fellow cannabis firm, Canopy Growth Co, down 3.5 percent.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Aurora Cannabis, Aphria and Bombardier.
* The TSX posted 12 new 52-week highs and one new low.
* Across all Canadian issues, there were 23 new 52-week highs and three new lows, with total volume touching 26.81 million shares. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel)
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