Sept 27 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Thursday as energy shares were boosted by a 1 percent rise in oil prices ahead of U.S. sanctions against major crude exporter Iran.
* At 9:44 a.m. ET (13:44 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 50.88 points, or 0.31 percent, at 16,220.16.
* Eight of the index’s 11 major sectors were higher, led by a 1.4 percent gain in the energy sector.
* Cenovus Energy shares rose 4.4 pct after the energy producer said it had signed three-year deals with Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway to transport crude.
* Canadian National Railway rose 0.4 percent while Canadian Pacific Railway was up 1.5 percent.
* The energy group was also supported by higher oil prices which were driven by a prospect of shortfall in global supply ahead of imminent U.S. sanctions against Iran. * U.S. crude prices were up 0.6 percent a barrel, while Brent crude added 0.3 percent.
* The financials sector gained 0.3 percent boosted by gains in shares of Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank.
* The materials sector, the biggest laggard on the main index, down 0.4 percent as gold futures fell 0.9 percent to $1,183.8 an ounce, while copper prices declined 1.6 percent to $6,181.5 a tonne.
* The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Cameco Corp , which jumped 18.5 percent after a favorable ruling from the Tax Court of Canada.
* The second biggest advancing stock was Wheaton Precious Metals, which rose 5.1 percent.
* Detour Gold Corp fell 3.9 percent, the most on the TSX followed by Torex Gold Resources, down 3.4 percent.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Aurora Cannabis, Wallbridge Min, and Royal Nickel .
* On the TSX, 153 issues were higher, while 87 issues declined for a 1.76-to-1 ratio favoring gainers, with 24.59 million shares traded.
* The TSX posted two new 52-week highs and three new lows.
* Across all Canadian issues there were 12 new 52-week highs and 11 new lows, with total volume of 43.22 million shares. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru)