May 20 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Wednesday, lifted by energy stocks as oil prices gained on signs of improving demand due to countries easing lockdown restrictions worldwide and a fall in U.S. crude inventories.
U.S. crude stockpile fell by 4.8 million barrels to 521.3 million barrels in the week to May 15, data from the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday.
* At 09:40 a.m. ET (13:40 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 139.54 points, or 0.94%, at 15,025.02.
* The energy sector climbed 3.0% as U.S. crude prices rose 2.6% a barrel, while Brent crude added 2.9%.
* However, Canada’s annual inflation rate dropped 0.2% in April, the first time since 2009 that it has entered negative territory, as the pandemic cut energy prices, Statistics Canada said.
* The financials sector gained 1.3%, while the industrials sector rose 1.5%.
* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.1%.
* On the TSX, 187 issues rose, while 39 declined for a 4.79-to-1 ratio favoring gainers, with 17.30 million shares traded.
* The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was aircraft repair and overhaul services provider Chorus Aviation Inc , which jumped 7.6%.
* Chorus was followed by oil producer Frontera Energy Corp, which rose 6.9% in tracking higher global oil prices.
* Pot company Aurora Cannabis Inc fell the most on the TSX at 10.4%, followed by Hexo Corp, which lost 2.7%.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Zenabis Global Inc, up 51.9%; Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd, up 11.8% and StageZero Life Sciences Inc , down 20.0%.
* The TSX posted seven new 52-week highs and no new low.
* Across all Canadian issues there were 21 new 52-week highs and two new lows, with total volume of 48.90 million shares. (Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)
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