December 20, 2018 / 3:31 PM / 3 months ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as higher gold prices boost materials sector

Dec 20(Reuters) - Shares in Toronto’s main stock index were marginally higher on Thursday, led by a robust gain in the materials sector as gold prices rose over 1 percent supported by slump in the U.S. dollar and global stocks.

* At 10:10 a.m. ET (15:05 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 11.73 points, or 0.10 percent, at 14,264.59.

*The Canadian dollar edged higher against its U.S. counterpart after hitting a 1-1/2-year low on Wednesday.

*Seven of the index’s 11 major sectors were higher, led by the materials sector, up 3 percent, with shares of precious metal miners such as Guyana Goldfields Inc and Iamgold Corp leading gains.

*Economic data showed wholesale trade increased by 1 percent in October and 39,100 jobs were added in November.

* The energy sector dropped 0.5 percent as oil prices fell more than 4 percent on Thursday, hitting lowest in more than a year on concerns about oversupply.

* On the TSX, 154 issues were higher, while 89 issues declined for a 1.73-to-1 ratio favoring gainers, with 41.13 million shares traded.

* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Guyana Goldfields Inc, which jumped 8.8 percent and Iamgold Corp that rose 8.4 percent.

*Shares of BlackBerry Ltd gained over 4 percent after reporting a better-than-expected quarterly profit, as the company’s focus on fast-growing areas boosted billings in its technology solutions unit.

* Ats Automation Tooling Systems Inc fell 6.2 percent, the most on the TSX.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Bombardier Inc, Aurora Cannabis Inc and BetaPro Natural Gas.

* The TSX posted no new 52-week highs and 25 new lows.

* Across Canadian issues, there were seven new 52-week highs and 175 new lows, with total volume of 64.80 million shares traded.

Reporting by Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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