TSX gains on hopes of U.S.-China trade truce

(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index was set to snap a two-day losing streak on Wednesday, as latest media reports raised hopes that the United States and China would make progress in resolving their prolonged trade war during this week’s high-level talks.

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

China was open to a partial trade deal with the U.S., a Bloomberg report said, despite the recent blacklisting Chinese technology firms.

Adding to the upbeat mood, was a report by the Financial Times that Beijing was offering to increase its annual purchases of U.S. agricultural products.

The world’s top two economies are scheduled to begin their high-level trade talks on Thursday.

At 9:41 a.m. ET (13:41 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 57.4 points, or 0.35%, at 16,351.35.

Eight of the index’s 11 major sectors were trading higher.

The energy sector climbed 0.4% as U.S. crude prices were up 1.7% a barrel, while Brent crude added 1.6%. [O/R]

The financials sector gained 0.3%, and the industrials sector rose 0.5%.

The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.1% as gold futures rose 0.6% to $1,505.8 an ounce. [GOL/] [MET/L]

On the TSX, 162 issues were higher, while 61 issues declined for a 2.66-to-1 ratio favoring gainers, with 9.98 million shares traded.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Encana Corp ECN.TO, which climbed 2.4%, and Aurora Cannabis Inc ACB.TO, which rose 2.2%.

Exchange Income Corp EIF.TO fell 4.3%, the most on the TSX, while the second biggest decliner was Pason Systems Inc PSI.TO, down 1.8%.

The most heavily traded shares by volume were Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd TGOD.TO and Aurora Cannabis.

The TSX posted four new 52-week highs and no new low.

Across all Canadian issues there were seven new 52-week highs and five new lows, with total volume of 19.16 million shares.

Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel