Dec 16 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose for the third straight day on Monday after the United States and China struck a preliminary trade deal, and as shares of cinema operator Cineplex surged after a $1.65 billion buyout deal.
* U.S. President Donald Trump’s top trade negotiator praised a “phase one” U.S.-China trade deal which is expected to nearly double U.S. exports to China over the next two years, while China remained cautious ahead of the signing of the agreement.
* Cineplex’s shares soared 41%, leading gainers on the TSX, after British peer Cineworld said it would buy the company as it looks to tackle increasing competition from online streaming services.
* At 9:44 a.m. ET (1444 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite index was up 39.93 points, or 0.23%, at 17,043.06.
* Six of the index’s 11 major sectors were higher, led by the energy sector, which climbed 0.7% as oil prices held near three-month highs on trade optimism.
* U.S. crude prices were up 0.1% a barrel, while Brent crude added 0.4%.
* On the TSX, 153 issues were higher, while 72 issues declined for a 2.13-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with 18.68 million shares traded.
* Hexo Corp fell 5.4%, the most on the TSX, after the cannabis producer reported quarterly results.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were shares of Largo Resources, Touchstone Exploration Inc, and Aurora Cannabis.
* The TSX posted nine new 52-week highs and no new low.
* Across all Canadian issues there were 92 new 52-week highs and seven new lows, with total volume of 45.84 million shares. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)