Oct 10 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index gained ground on Thursday, with energy stocks leading gains, as a clutch of positive headlines on trade lifted sentiment with high-level trade negotiations between United States and China starting in Washington.
* The index shrugged off a muted start and inched higher after President Donald Trump confirmed he would meet Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Friday for further trade talks, adding to optimism following a report that China was willing to reach a deal.
* Also helping sentiment, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce official said there is possibility of a currency agreement in u.s.-china trade talks in exchange for delay in tariff hikes.
* Minister level bilateral talks resumed for the first time since July as both sides attempt to end the 15-month long trade war that has hampered global growth.
* At 10:09 a.m. ET (14:09 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 27.58 points, or 0.17%, at 16,407.45.
* The energy sector climbed 0.6%, the most among the index’s 11 major sectors, on the back of oil prices which rose about 1%.
* A weak spot in markets was Hexo Corp, which plummeted 18.4%, as the cannabis producer withdrew its 2020 forecast, blaming an uncertain environment and slow store rollouts.
* That pushed the healthcare sector down 1.6%, and pressured other pot companies including Aphria Inc Aurora Cannabis and Canopy Growth Co down between 2.5% and 3.2%.
* On the TSX, 83 issues were higher, while 137 issues declined for a 1.65-to-1 ratio to the downside, with 8.22 million shares traded.
* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were TFI International Inc, which jumped 2.9%, and Teck Resources Ltd, which rose 2.9%.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd, Toronto-Dominion Bank , and Hexo Corp.
* The TSX posted two new 52-week highs and one new low.
* Across all Canadian issues there were eight new 52-week highs and six new lows, with total volume of 14.92 million shares. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)