May 1 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index edged lower on Wednesday, as shares of precious metal miners fell in the wake of a decline in gold prices ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision.
* The U.S. central bank is expected to leave borrowing costs unchanged, when it comes out with its decision at 2 p.m. ET, as it maintains a ‘patient’ monetary policy stance amid strong economic growth.
* At 9:56 a.m. ET (13:56 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 16.32 points, or 0.1 percent, at 16,564.41.
* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.8 percent as gold futures fell 0.3 percent to $1,279.3 per ounce.
* The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Centerra Gold Inc, which rose 5.1 percent after reporting first-quarter results.
* The healthcare sector gained 0.21%, the most among the five major sectors trading higher.
* Energy stocks edged down 0.72%, weighed down by lower U.S. crude prices.
* On the TSX, 109 issues were higher, while 124 issues declined for a 1.14-to-1 ratio to the downside, with traded volume touching 24.15 million shares.
* Endeavour Mining Corp fell 4.6 percent, the most on the TSX, after posting quarterly results, while the second biggest decliner was Kelt Exploration Ltd, down 3.6 percent.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Nemaska Lithium, Kerr Mines Inc and Aurora Cannabis .
* The TSX posted three new 52-week highs and four new lows.
* Across all Canadian issues, there were 25 new 52-week highs and 11 new lows, with total volume touching 40.65 million shares. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.