Energy shares push TSX higher

(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Thursday as crude prices jumped about 2% and pushed the energy sector higher.

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Market sentiment was also helped by better-than-expected trade data from China and a steadying of its currency offered some comfort to investors rattled by an escalation in trade tensions and signals pointing to a recession.

Oil jumped more than $1 a barrel on Thursday due to expectations that falling prices may lead to production cuts and helped the energy sector gain 1.1%.

The materials sector, down 0.5%, was the only major sector trading lower, as gold prices slipped. [GOL/] [MET/L]

At 9:38 a.m. ET (13:38 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 65.31 points, or 0.4%, at 16,330.53.

On the TSX, 166 issues were higher, while 66 issues declined for a 2.52-to-1 ratio favoring gainers, with 19.01 million shares traded.

The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Inter Pipeline Ltd IPL.TO, which jumped 8.9%, followed by TMX Group Limited X.TO, up 5.5%.

Iamgold Corp IMG.TO plunged 13.6%, the most on the TSX, after Credit Suisse downgraded its shares to "neutral" from "outperform".

The second-biggest decliner was Ag Growth International Inc AFN.TO, down 5.5%, after the seed and fertilizer maker reported quarterly results.

The most heavily traded shares by volume were Inter Pipeline Ltd IPL.TO, B2gold Corp BTO.TO, and Encana Corp ECA.TO.

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

Across all Canadian issues, there were 19 new 52-week highs and seven new lows, with total volume of 29.34 million shares.

Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel