January 18, 2019 / 3:06 PM / 9 months ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX set for fourth weekly gain as oil prices buoy energy shares

Jan 18 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Friday, set for its fourth straight weekly gain, as an increase in oil prices lifted shares of energy companies.

* At 9:32 a.m. ET (1432 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 87.31 points, or 0.57 percent, at 15,298.53.

* The energy sector rose 1.1 percent, the most among the index’s 11 major sectors.

* U.S. crude prices and Brent crude added more than 1 percent each, after an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) report showed its production fell sharply last month, easing some concerns about prolonged oversupply.

* On the macro-economic front, Canada’s annual inflation rate in December edged up to 2 percent from 1.7 percent in November, mainly due to the growing air transportation and telephone service costs that offset lower energy prices, Statistics Canada said.

* However, the stronger-than-expected inflation reading was unlikely to encourage Bank of Canada to immediately raise interest rates, economists said.

* The inflation data also helped the loonie, which rose against its American counterpart.

* Still, the financials sector gained 0.7 percent.

* On the TSX, 182 issues were higher, while 51 issues declined for a 3.57-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with traded volume touching 7.63 million shares.

* The biggest percentage gainers on the TSX were shares of Cronos Group Inc, which rose 4.2 percent, followed by a 3.7 percent gain in Canopy Growth Co, after brokerage CIBC initiated its coverage on both cannabis producers with “outperform” ratings.

* Iamgold Corp fell 4.5 percent, the most on the TSX, after BMO cut its rating on the gold producer to “market perform” from “outperform”.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were those of Aurora Cannabis, Trevali Mining and Hexo Corp .

* The TSX posted one new 52-week high and no new low.

* Across all Canadian issues, there were four new 52-week highs and one new low, with total volume touching 13.15 million shares. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel)

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