China data helps TSX kick off second quarter on upbeat note

(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index advanced in a broad-based rally on Monday, as a surprise recovery in China’s factory activity spurred demand for equities globally.

FILE PHOTO: Businessmen pass the Toronto Stock Exchange sing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada July 6, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photo

* At 9:36 a.m. ET (1336 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 77.53 points, or 0.48 percent, at 16,179.62, extending gains from its strongest quarter in nearly ten years.

* Meanwhile, domestic data showed Canada’s manufacturing sector expanded in March at the slowest pace in two and a half years as a slowdown in global factory activity led to less new work from abroad.

* The energy sector’s 1.3 percent was the steepest among 11 major TSX sectors trading higher, as oil prices touched 2019 highs.

* U.S. crude prices were up 0.9 percent a barrel, while Brent crude was 1.3 percent higher.

* The financials sector gained 0.4 percent. The industrials sector rose 0.6 percent.

* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.7 percent as gold futures rose 0.2 percent to $1,295.9 an ounce.

* On the TSX, 186 issues were higher, while 48 issues declined for a 3.88-to-1 ratio favoring gainers, with 10.89 million shares traded.

* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Lundin Mining Corp and Cenovus Energy Inc, rising 4.4 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively.

* BlackBerry Ltd fell 1.5 percent, the most on the TSX, after a 13 percent surge in the previous session following the company’s better-than-expected fourth-quarter results.

* The second-biggest decliner was First Majestic Silver Corp, down 1.4 percent.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Aurora Cannabis, Stornoway Diamond Corp and Mandalay Resources Corp.

* Across all Canadian issues, there were 34 new 52-week highs and three new lows, with total volume of 22.09 million shares.

Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel