CANADA STOCKS-TSX ekes out gains amid U.S.-China trade optimism

April 14 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index edged higher on Tuesday, following a three day slump, as upbeat comments from Washington and Beijing calmed nerves over a further escalation in their trade war, which has kept global financial markets on edge.

* At 9:35 a.m. ET (1335 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite index was up 19.15 points, or 0.12%, at 16,212.56.

* Gains were, however, kept in check by a 0.4% fall in the materials sector, which houses precious metal miners, after gold retreated slightly from a one-month high on Tuesday.

* Investors pulled money from the safe-haven asset as equities breathed a sigh of relief after the United States and China adopted a more optimistic tone on their trade dispute.

* Seven of the index’s 11 major sectors were higher, led by the energy sector which climbed 0.9%.

* U.S. crude prices were up 0.7%, while Brent crude added 1%.

* Oil prices rose after top exporter Saudi Arabia said explosive-laden drones launched by a Yemeni armed movement aligned to Iran had attacked facilities belonging to state oil company Aramco.

* The financials sector gained 0.2%, while the industrials sector rose 0.3%.

* The loonie stuck to a narrow range against its U.S. counterpart.

* On the TSX, 141 issues were higher, while 93 issues declined for a 1.52-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with 12.13 million shares traded.

* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were shares of Hexo Corp, which jumped 4.9% followed by those of CannTrust Holdings Inc, which rose 4.2% following upbeat results.

* Shopify Inc fell 3.1%, the most on the TSX, after Morgan Stanley cut its rating on the company to “underweight” from “equal-weight”.

* The second biggest decliner was gold miner Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd, down 2.4%.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Enbridge Inc , Prometic Life Sciences and Stornoway Diamond Corp.

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

* Across all Canadian issues there were 11 new 52-week highs and seven new lows, with total volume of 20.12 million shares. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)