June 21, 2018 / 2:18 PM / in 5 months

CANADA STOCKS-TSX dips as falling oil prices weigh on energy stocks

June 21 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index dipped on Thursday after lower oil prices dragged down shares of energy companies.

* At 9:35 a.m. ET (1335 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite index was down 25.12 points, or 0.15 percent, at 16,395.83.

* Oil prices fell as crude exporters in OPEC appeared to be nearing a deal to increase production.

* Five of the index’s 11 major sectors were lower, weighed down by a 0.9 percent drop in the energy sector.

* Top drags on the sector were Enbridge Inc and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd, down about 0.8 percent each.

* Economic data showed Canadian wholesale trade increased by 0.1 percent in April and another piece of data showed Canadian employers added 2,900 workers to their payrolls in May.

* Investors are betting that Bank of Canada interest rate hikes will peak before they reach the central bank’s estimate of neutral, as rising trade tensions and high domestic debt loads threaten to slow the growth of the country’s economy.

* Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday he doubted whether U.S. President Donald Trump would carry out a threat to impose tariffs on autos, given the economic damage such a move would cause.

* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners, lost 0.2 percent as gold prices sank and copper prices held their near 3-week low.

* On the TSX, 92 issues were higher, while 140 issues declined for a 1.52-to-1 ratio to the downside, with 9.30 million shares traded.

* Top percentage gainers on the TSX were shares of Great Canadian Gaming Corp, which jumped 3.3 percent and Altus Group, which rose 2 percent.

* The top decliner on the TSX was Boralex, which fell 2.8 percent, followed by Parex Resources, down 2.4 percent.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were of cannabis firms Aurora Cannabis and Canopy Growth Co.

* Marijuana sales will become legal in Canada beginning October 17, PM Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday.

* The TSX posted four new 52-week highs and two new lows.

* Across all Canadian issues there were 16 new 52-week highs and five new lows, with total volume of 16.58 million shares. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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