May 2 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Thursday, as lower crude prices pulled down energy shares, while precious metal miners were hurt by a fall in gold pries.
* U.S. crude prices were down 2.3 percent per barrel, while Brent crude lost 1.8 percent, as record U.S. crude production led to a surge in inventories.
* The materials sector lost 0.5 percent as gold fell to its lowest in a week after the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) doused expectations of a near-term rate cut and on lack of physical demand in Asia.
* The Fed held interest rates steady on Wednesday and signaled little appetite to adjust them any time soon.
* At 9:43 a.m. ET (13:43 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 25.61 points, or 0.16 percent, at 16,477.14.
* Canada’s Bombardier Inc plunged 7.7% and was among the biggest losers in the main index, after the planemaker shocked workers in Northern Ireland by announcing it would sell its Belfast operation, the largest high-tech manufacturer in the British region, which employs 3,600 people.
* Among earnings reports, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc dropped 5% after the company reported a 73 percent plunge in adjusted quarterly profit and said it would speed up its plans to simplify operational structure to save costs and improve efficiency.
* Maple Leaf Foods Inc declined 2.4% after the packaged meat producer reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday, hit by higher costs as it invested more in new initiatives and capacity expansion.
* On the TSX, 73 issues were higher, while 162 issues declined for a 2.22-to-1 ratio to the downside, with traded volumes touching 28.20 million shares.
* The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Pason Systems Inc, which rose 6.9 percent after reporting higher quarterly revenue.
** Parkland Fuel Corp rose 3.6 percent and was among the biggest gainers after its first-quarter profit beat analysts’ estimates.
* CannTrust Holdings fell 10.3 percent, the most on the TSX, after the company priced its stock offering.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume included Bombardier Inc and CannTrust Holdings.
* The TSX posted two new 52-week highs and five new lows.
* Across all Canadian issues, there were nine new 52-week highs and 11 new lows, with total volumes touching 42.63 million shares. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel)