May 21 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index edged lower on Thursday, weighed by bleak monthly domestic jobs data and escalating tensions between the United States and China.
The nation lost 226,700 jobs in April, ADP payroll data showed, as the lockdowns imposed to the curb the spread of the coronavirus impacted economic activities with trade, leisure and hospitality among the hardest hit industries.
* At 9:37 a.m. ET (13:37 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 43.92 points, or 0.29%, at 14,953.71.
* U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent criticism on Beijing’s handling of the virus outbreak simmered Sino-U.S. tensions, which continued to weigh on risk appetite.
* The energy sector climbed 1% as U.S. crude prices were up 3% a barrel, while Brent crude added 3.2%.
* The financials sector slipped 0.2%. The industrials sector fell 0.3%.
* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 1.5% as gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,746.8 an ounce.
* On the TSX, 77 issues were higher, while 140 issues declined for a 1.82-to-1 ratio to the downside, with 23.44 million shares traded.
* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX was Aurora Cannabis Inc, which jumped 27.3% after the pot company agreed to buy U.S.-based Reliva LLC for $40 million in an all-stock deal.
* Its gains were followed by Lightspeed POS Inc, which rose 18.8% after the company reported its fourth-quarter revenue above analysts’ expectations.
* Mining company Silvercorp Metals Inc fell 3.6%, the most on the TSX, followed by the second biggest decliner OceanaGold Corp, down 2.9%.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Manulife Financial Corp, up 1.5%; Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd, down 17.4% and Sun Life Financial Inc , down 0.5%.
* The TSX posted one new 52-week highs and no new lows.
* Across all Canadian issues there were seven new 52-week highs and no new lows, with total volume of 40.06 million shares. (Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)