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CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls on virus-driven recession fears

March 19 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Thursday, as investors were worried that action from central banks and governments may not be sufficient to stave off a deep coronavirus-driven global recession.

* At 9:49 a.m. ET (1349 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite index was down 262.37 points, or 2.24%, at 11,459.05.

* Failing to lift market sentiment was Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement on Wednesday that his government would provide C$27 billion ($18.6 billion) in direct support to families and businesses struggling because of the coronavirus outbreak, and stood ready to do more.

* Nine of the index’s 11 major sectors were trading lower.

* The energy sector gained 1.2% as U.S. crude prices were up 8.6% a barrel, while Brent crude added 2.5%.

* Oil prices rose after a 3-day slump.

* Investors also shrugged off a private survey, which showed Canada added 7,200 jobs in February, the eighth consecutive month of job gains, led by hiring in the construction sector.

* The financials sector slipped 2.4%, while the industrials sector fell 2.1%.

* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners, lost 4.2% as gold prices fell.

* On the TSX, 51 issues were higher, while 177 issues declined for a 3.47-to-1 ratio to the downside, with 43.79 million shares traded.

* The top percentage gainers on the TSX were shares of Real Matters Inc, which jumped 15.2%, followed by shares of Hexo Corp, which rose 9.6%.

* OceanaGold Corp, which dropped the most on the TSX, was down 17.3%.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Husky Energy and Bombardier .

* The TSX posted no new 52-week high and 40 new lows.

* Across all Canadian issues there were four new 52-week highs and 218 new lows, with total volume of 71.55 million shares. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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