(Updates prices, adds background)
Aug 20 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index dropped after two straight sessions of gains on Tuesday, as energy shares mirrored a drop in oil prices on persisting concerns over demand.
* At 9:53 a.m. ET (1353 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite index was down 72.03 points, or 0.44%, at 16,232.02.
* Seven of the index’s 11 major sectors were lower with a 0.6% fall in the energy sector leading losses.
* U.S. crude prices were down 0.3% and Brent crude 0.4%.
* Oil prices reversed earlier gains in session to trade lower as worries over demand lingered, however hopes that major economies will take stimulus measures to stave off a potential recession kept a check on losses.
* The financials sector slipped 0.3% and the industrials sector 0.5%.
* The materials sector, which includes precious metals, added 0.2% after gold prices rose back above $1,500 an ounce as investors switched focus to the minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s last meeting, which will be closely watched for clues on further interest rate cuts.
* Data showed Canadian home prices climbed for a third straight time in July, rising 0.7% from June, but the index was lower than the month’s 21-year average.
* On the TSX, 79 issues were higher, while 149 issues declined for a 1.89-to-1 ratio to the downside, with 8.96 million shares traded.
* The biggest percentage gainers on the TSX were Peyto Exploration & Development Corp, which jumped 2.1%, followed by shares of Canopy Growth, which rose 2.1%.
* CannTrust Holdings Inc fell 3.4%, the most on the TSX, closely followed by SNC-Lavalin, which fell 2.9%.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were those of Bombardier, Black Iron Inc and Encana Corp .
* The TSX posted six new 52-week highs and no new low.
* Across all Canadian issues there were 11 new 52-week highs and five new lows, with total volume of 15.60 million shares. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)
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