August 17, 2018 / 2:32 PM / in 3 months

CANADA STOCKS-TSX lower after inflation data bolsters case for rate hike

(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index slipped on Friday after a much stronger-than-expected inflation data bolstered expectations of an interest rate hike as early as next month.

* At 9:34 a.m. ET (13:34 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 28.02 points, or 0.17 percent, at 16,197.63. The index was headed to end the week 0.7 percent lower.

* Canada’s annual inflation rate accelerated to 3.0 percent, beating a 2.5 percent rise forecast by analysts polled by Reuters. The Bank of Canada, which raised interest rates in July for the fourth time in a year, has an inflation target of 2.0 percent.

* Chances of a September hike rose to nearly 30 percent from less than 20 percent the day earlier, as indicated by the overnight index swaps market.

* Canada’s energy regulator said on Thursday it had given the go-ahead for the construction of a large portion of the Trans Mountain expansion project, which will nearly triple capacity on the oil pipeline from Alberta to a Vancouver area port.

* Eight of the 11 major sectors were in the red, led by the financial sector, which was down 0.2 percent.

The biggest drags were Brookfield Asset Management , which fell 1.2 percent, and Manulife Financial Corp , which was down 0.6 percent.

* The energy sector climbed 0.2 percent as oil prices rose by more than 1 percent

* Oil prices gained on growing concerns that trade tensions and slowing global economic growth could hit demand for petroleum products.

* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.3 percent.

* Gold miners boosted the materials index, with Barrick Gold Corp rising 2 percent, Wheaton Precious Metals 3 percent and Franco-Nevada Corp 1.7 percent.

* Gold futures rose 0.2 percent to $1,178.8 an ounce, while copper prices fell 0.4 percent to $5,916.5 a tonne.

* The biggest percentage gainers on the TSX were New Gold , which jumped 2.3 percent, and Centerra Gold, which rose 2.3 percent.

* Aphria Inc’s 3 percent drop was the biggest on the TSX, followed by Ivanhoe Mins Ltd’s 2.9 percent fall.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Steppe Gold Ltd, Aurora Cannabis, and Lydian International Ltd.

* On the TSX, 108 issues were higher, while 127 issues declined for a 1.18-to-1 ratio to the downside, with 5.90 million shares traded.

* The TSX posted one new 52-week highs and four new lows.

* Across all Canadian issues there were five new 52-week highs and 10 new lows, with total volume of 11.56 million shares. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru)

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