TSX drops as pandemic aid fails to offset virus worries

(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell at the open on Thursday as a second wave of coronavirus infections dented optimism around an economic revival, while the government’s pledge to boost public spending had little effect on investor sentiment.

FILE PHOTO: Businessmen pass the Toronto Stock Exchange sing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada July 6, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

* At 9:45 a.m. ET (1345 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 51.15 points, or 0.32%, at 15,765.96.

* The Canadian dollar weakened to a seven-week low against the greenback as investors worried about another global economic hit from the coronavirus pandemic and Ottawa’s pledge of further economic aid failed to lift the currency.

* The energy sector .SPTTEN dropped 1.6% as U.S. crude CLc1 prices were down 0.3% a barrel, while Brent crude LCOc1 lost 0.4%. [O/R]

* The financials sector .SPTTFS slipped 0.3%. The industrials sector .GSPTTIN fell 0.5%.

* The materials sector .GSPTTMT, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.1% as gold futures GCc1 fell 0.5% to $1,851.5 an ounce.

* On the TSX, 38 issues were higher, while 180 issues declined for a 4.74-to-1 ratio to the downside, with 20.45 million shares traded.

* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were BlackBerry Ltd BB.TO, which jumped 6.7% after it beat earnings estimates and InterRent Reit IIP_u.TO, which rose 2%.

* Aurora Cannabis ACB.TO fell 5.9%, the most on the TSX, while the second biggest decliner was Ballard Power Systems BLDP.TO, down 5.3%.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Just Energy Group JE.TO, BlackBerry Ltd BB.TO and Bombardier Inc BBDb.TO.

* The TSX posted two new 52-week highs and one new low.

* Across all Canadian issues there were five new 52-week highs and 10 new lows, with total volume of 49.36 million shares.

Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M and Shailesh Kuber