June 18 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index gained on Tuesday, driven by precious metal miners and energy companies, ahead of the Federal Reserve’s two-day monetary policy meeting.
* Sentiment was buoyed by ECB President Mario Draghi’s comments indicating a possibility of new rate cuts or asset purchases and investors hoped for a similar accommodative stance from the Federal Reserve.
* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, rose 1.2% as gold prices neared 14-month highs.
* At 9:44 a.m. ET (13:44 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 125.04 points, or 0.76%, at 16,478.49.
* The energy sector climbed 1.1% as U.S. crude prices were up 1.5% per barrel, while Brent crude added 0.6%.
* Ten of the index’s 11 major sectors were higher, with only the defensive consumer staples posting a small loss.
* On the TSX, 218 issues were higher, while 18 issues declined for a 12.11-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with traded volumes touching 23.20 million shares.
* The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Westshore Terminals Investment Corp, which jumped 6.2%. This was followed by Canfor Corp, which rose 6.2%.
* Hudson’s Bay fell 2.4%, the most on the TSX, after activist shareholder Jonathan Litt lambasted a C$1.74 billion bid to take the Canadian retailer private as “woefully inadequate”.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were BCE Inc , Argex Titanium Inc and Bombardier.
* The TSX posted 24 new 52-week highs and no new low.
* Across all Canadian issues, there were 105 new 52-week highs and five new lows, with total volume touching 40.07 million shares. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel)