November 8, 2018 / 3:24 PM / a year ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX flat as strong earnings help curb losses in energy stocks

Nov 8 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index remained flat on Thursday, as robust earnings by a handful of companies helped offset losses in energy shares.

* At 9:40 a.m. ET (1440 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite index was up 8.46 points, or 0.06 percent, at 15,377.89.

* Seven of the index’s 11 major sectors were higher, led by gains in the consumer discretionary sector, which rose 1.5 percent.

* Strong earnings reports from auto parts maker Magna International Inc and retailer Canadian Tire Corp Ltd helped lift the consumer discretionary sector.

* Magna shares gained more than 3 percent, while Canadian Tire jumped nearly 8 percent.

* The financial sector rose 0.3 percent after two of Canada’s biggest insurers, Manulife Financial Corp and Sun Life Financial, posted third-quarter earnings that surpassed market expectations, helped by sales growth in Asia.

* But, the energy sector dropped 0.4 percent after oil prices edged lower, as investors focused on the pace of growth in global crude supply, which is increasing more quickly than many had expected.

* U.S. crude prices were down 0.7 percent, while Brent crude lost 0.7 percent.

* The industrials sector edged down 0.2 percent after shares in Bombardier Inc fell 9 percent. The company said it would sell two of its units for $900 million and cut about 5,000 jobs.

* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners, lost 0.2 percent as copper and gold prices fell on a firming dollar.

* Data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation showed Canadian housing starts rose in October.

* On the TSX, 100 issues were higher, while 135 issues declined for a 1.35-to-1 ratio to the downside, with traded volume touching 20.70 million shares.

* Top percentage gainers on the TSX were shares of Pason Systems Inc, which jumped 14.6 percent, after reporting quarterly revenue that surpassed expectations.

* Altus Group fell 10.9 percent, the most on the TSX, after posting quarterly results that fell below expectations.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Bombardier B , Aurora Cannabis and Trevali Mining.

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

* Across all Canadian issues, there were five new 52-week highs and 18 new lows, with total volume touching 32.10 million shares. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel)

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