TSX gains as higher oil prices boost energy stocks

(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Wednesday, helped by energy stocks, as oil prices gained despite renewed fears about fuel demand recovery due to surging coronavirus cases.

FILE PHOTO: The Art Deco facade of the original Toronto Stock Exchange building is seen on Bay Street in Toronto, Ontario, Canada January 23, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

* The energy sector climbed 1.1% as U.S. crude prices rose 1.7% a barrel, while Brent crude added 1.6%. [O/R]

* At 9:39 a.m. ET (13:39 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 6.66 points, or 0.04%, at 16,517.49.

* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.1% as gold futures rose 1.0% to $1,907.4 an ounce. [GOL/]

* On the TSX, 118 issues were higher, while 93 issues declined in a 1.27-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with 11.32 million shares traded.

* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were oil producer Vermilion Energy Inc VET.TO, which jumped 3.1%, and Fortuna Silver Mines Inc FVI.TO, which rose 2.2%, after the miner posted third-quarter data on production of gold and silver.

* Empire Company Limited EMPa.TO fell 1.5%, the most on the TSX, followed by software maker Descartes Systems Group Inc DSG.TO, down 1.4%.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Toronto-Dominion Bank TD.TO, Silver Elephant Mining Corp ELEF.TO, and Microbix Biosystems Inc MBX.TO.

* The TSX posted five new 52-week highs and no new lows.

* Across all Canadian issues there were 18 new 52-week highs and one new low, with total 23.45 million shares traded.

Reporting by Amal S; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi