May 17, 2018 / 2:27 PM / 5 months ago

CANADA STOCKS-Energy stocks boost TSX as oil tops $80

May 17 - Canada’s main stock index rose on Thursday, gaining for the 10th straight session, led by the energy sector as oil prices hit $80 a barrel for the first time since November 2014.

* At 9:36 a.m. ET (1336 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 35.65 points, or 0.22 percent, at 16,143.71.

* Brent crude prices hit a high of $80.18 per barrel on concerns that Iranian exports could fall because of renewed U.S. sanctions, reducing supply in an already tightening market.

* Eight of the index’s 11 major sectors were higher, led by the energy sector, which climbed 1.3 percent.

* The biggest boost to the sector was Canadian Natural Resources, which rose 2.5 percent.

* Enbridge gained 0.9 percent after the pipeline operator said it would bring its independent units and liquids and gas pipeline assets under a single listed entity.

* The industrials sector gained 0.4 percent, while the heavyweight financials sector slipped 0.1 percent.

* Uncertainty about NAFTA renegotiations is one of the reasons the Bank of Canada has kept interest rates low, because concern about U.S. trade policy is dragging down business investment, Deputy Governor Lawrence Schembri said on Wednesday.

* The Canadian dollar retreated from near one-week high against the greenback as oil prices rose and investors weighed prospects of a deadline passing to reach a NAFTA trade pact deal.

* On the TSX, 169 issues were higher, while 59 issues declined for a 2.86-to-1 ratio favoring gainers, with 8.18 million shares traded.

* The largest percentage gainer was ATS Automation Tooling Systems, which jumped 11.9 percent after reporting fourth-quarter results.

* The two biggest decliners on the TSX were cannabis firms Aurora Cannabis and Canopy Growth Co, which fell 2.6 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Aurora Cannabis; Enbridge Income Fund, up 5.4 percent and Just Energy Group, down 6.1 percent.

* The TSX posted eight new 52-week highs and two new lows.

* Across all Canadian issues there were 25 new 52-week highs and 15 new lows, with total volume of 15.12 million shares.

* An ADP report showed Canada added 30,200 jobs in April, while Statistics Canada said foreign investment in Canadian securities rose in March as investors bought money market instruments, even as they cut their bond holdings for a fourth consecutive month. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru)

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