Sept 3 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Thursday, tracking Wall Street, as investors booked profits after a strong run in recent weeks that was powered by bets of more global stimulus and signs of a pickup in business activity.
* At 9:53 a.m. ET (1353 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 20.07 points, or 0.12%, at 16,677.9.
* Canada’s trade deficit grew to C$2.45 billion ($1.87 billion) in July as both imports and exports continued to recover from the lifting of restrictions put in place to tackle the coronavirus, Statistics Canada said.
* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.7% even though gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,936.1 an ounce.
* The energy sector climbed 1.4% even though U.S. crude prices were down 1.8% a barrel, while Brent crude lost 2.0%.
* On the TSX, 107 issues were higher, while 112 issues declined for a 1.05-to-1 ratio to the downside, with 22.37 million shares traded.
* Ballard Power Systems Inc fell 4.7%, the most on the TSX, and the second biggest decliner was First Quantum Minerals Ltd, down 4%.
* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were carrier Air Canada, which jumped 3.4% after the company said it plans to conduct a study on international travelers arriving at the Toronto Pearson International Airport, to test the effectiveness of various COVID-19 quarantine periods.
* Its gains were followed by the pot producer Canopy Growth Corp, which rose 3%.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Air Canada , Suncor Energy Inc, and Just Energy Group .
* The TSX posted one new 52-week highs and no new lows.
* Across all Canadian issues there were 22 new 52-week highs and one new low, with total volume of 44.42 million shares. (Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)
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