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CANADA STOCKS-Canadian stocks rise as Middle East tensions ease, tech gains

(Adds details, updates prices)

Jan 7 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Tuesday as tensions between the United States and Iran seemed to ease with no escalation on either side.

* At 9:51 a.m. ET (14:51 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 27.89 points, or 0.16%, at 17,133.36.

* Information technology was the best performing sector, rising about 1.2% with Enghouse Systems Ltd leading gains after two brokerages raised price target on the stock.

* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertiliser companies, added 0.4% on strength in gold miners as bullion prices rose, adding to recent safe-haven plays.

* The energy sector dropped 0.6% as U.S. crude prices were down 0.9% a barrel, while Brent crude lost 1.1% as oil prices relinquished some of their recent gains.

* Canada posted a trade deficit of C$1.09 billion ($0.84 billion) in November, in part due to a major railway strike that slowed the shipment of imports and exports.

* On the TSX, 141 issues were higher, while 83 issues declined for a 1.70-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with 21.60 million shares traded.

* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Oceanagold Corp, up 3.6%, and Novagold Resources, up 2.3%.

* Hexo Corp fell 3.7%, the most on the TSX, while the second biggest decliner was Seven Generations Energy , down 2.4%.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Aurora Cannabis, Bank of Nova Scotia and Toronto- Dominion Bank.

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

* Across all Canadian issues, there were 21 new 52-week highs and five new lows, with total volume of 37.72 million shares. (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Shinjini Ganguli)

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