April 14 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Tuesday as sentiment was helped by better-than-expected trade data from China and signs that some economies were preparing to ease lockdowns after coronavirus cases seemed to plateau.
Data from China showed exports and imports shrank less than expected in March as factories restarted production, but analysts warned a sure-footed recovery was months away.
In the United States, President Donald Trump said his administration was close to completing a plan to re-open the economy, while in Spain some businesses reopened, although shops, bars and public spaces were set to stay closed until at least April 26.
* At 09:41 a.m. ET (13:41 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 273.5 points, or 1.94%, at 14,349.44.
* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, rose 2.6% helped by higher gold prices.
* Gold prices hit their highest level in more than seven years on Tuesday as concerns over global economic growth and a wave of stimulus measures from central banks and governments lifted bullion’s appeal.
* The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Torex Gold Resources, which jumped 9.3%, and MAG Silver Corp followed with a 6.9% rise.
* Baytex Energy Co fell 3.8%, the most on the TSX, and the second biggest decliner was Enerflex Ltd, down 2.7%, after Scotiabank cut its price target on stock.
* On the TSX, 206 issues were higher, while 24 issues declined for a 8.58-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with 29.92 million shares traded.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Toronto Dominion Bank, B2gold Corp and Aurora Cannabis .
* The TSX posted seven new 52-week highs and no new low.
* Across all Canadian issues there were 16 new 52-week highs and one new low, with total volume of 53.34 million shares. (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)