Jan 24 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index hovered near an all-time high on Friday after the World Health Organisation tempered fears over the coronavirus outbreak in China.
* At 9:48 a.m. ET (1448 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 1.98 points, or 0.01%, at 17,623.76.
* World stocks got a lift after World Health Organization labeled the viral infection an emergency for China, but not yet for the rest of the world.
* U.S. President Donald Trump will sign a trade pact between the United States, Mexico and Canada on Wednesday during a ceremony at the White House, an administration official told Reuters.
* The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which replaces NAFTA, still needs to be formally approved by Canada.
* Industrial and technology stocks were leading gains among major sectors.
* The energy sector dropped 1% as U.S. crude prices fell 2% a barrel, while Brent crude lost 1.9%.
* The financials sector slipped 0.1%.
* On the TSX, 138 issues were higher, while 90 issues declined for a 1.53-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with 17.45 million shares traded.
* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Ballard Power Systems Inc and Real Matters Inc, which rose 5% and 2.9%, respectively.
* Meg Energy Corp fell 3.1%, the most on the TSX. The second-biggest decliner was Aphria Inc, down 2.9%.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Aphria, Encana Corp and Burcon NutraScience Corp.
* The TSX posted 23 new 52-week highs and two new lows.
* Across all Canadian issues, there were 91 new 52-week highs and four new lows, with total volume of 32.64 million shares. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru)