(Updates prices, details)
Sept 26 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index declined for a fourth straight session on Thursday as a drop in oil prices hit energy stocks, denting early optimism over U.S.-China trade talks.
* The energy sector dropped 0.9%, leading losses on the main TSX index, as oil prices slid on Saudi Arabia’s moves to restore output quickly after attacks on its oil installations.
* At 10:10 a.m. ET (14:10 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 11.54 points, or 0.07%, at 16,772.75, reflecting declines in Wall Street after fresh developments on the impeachment inquiry of U.S. President Donald Trump.
* That hit early optimism after Beijing said it was in close communication with the United States and was preparing to make progress with their trade talks in October.
* Domestic data was upbeat, with Canadian average weekly earnings rising by 2.7% in July after a 2.1% gain in June, while the number of non-farm payroll employees increased by 75,400.
* However, the downbeat sentiment sent miners lower, with the materials index down 0.5% despite rising gold prices.
* The biggest percentage gainers on the TSX were fashion retailer Aritzia Inc, which jumped 4.5% and asset management firm Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, which rose 3.6%.
* Ballard Power Systems Inc fell 6.4%, the most on the TSX, and the second biggest decliner was First Quantum Minerals Ltd, down 5.4%, after brokerage BMO downgraded the stock to “market perform”. The stock took a hit earlier this week after it denied takeover talks.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Bank of Nova Scotia, Mav Beauty Brands Inc and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
* The TSX posted 17 new 52-week highs and one new low.
* Across all Canadian issues there were 38 new 52-week highs and 11 new lows, with total volume of 47.37 million shares.
* On the TSX, 124 issues were higher, while 98 issues declined for a 1.27-to-1 ratio favoring gainers, with 29.01 million shares traded. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)
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