Feb 11 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index scaled a new high on Tuesday, driven by sharp gains in energy stocks as the slowing number of new coronavirus cases in China eased concerns about a lasting hit to oil demand.
* At 09:34 a.m. ET (14:34 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 43.3 points, or 0.24%, at 17,783.87.
* A top Chinese health adviser said the coronavirus epidemic may plateau in the next few weeks and infections may be over by April, with the number of new cases already declining in some places, even as the death toll climbed above 1,000 overnight.
* The energy sector climbed 1.1% as oil prices recovered from 13-month lows. U.S. crude prices were up 2% a barrel, while Brent crude added 2.4%.
* But, late on Monday Canada’s Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, said the net decline in oil prices since the outbreak will hit the country’s already struggling energy industry.
* The financials sector gained 0.3% and the industrials sector rose 0.1%.
* On the TSX, 166 issues were higher, while 57 issues declined for a 2.91-to-1 ratio favoring gainers, with 8.13 million shares traded.
* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Ivanhoe Mines Ltd and First Quantum Minerals, both up 3.4%.
* Aurora Cannabis fell 1.9%, the most on the TSX, followed by peer Canopy Growth Co, down 1.9%, as investors brace for more job cuts and writedowns at Canadian cannabis producers before the industry stabilizes and becomes profitable.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were those of Aurora Cannabis
* The TSX posted 15 new 52-week highs and no new lows.
* Across all Canadian issues there were 116 new 52-week highs and 11 new lows, with total volume of 14.81 million shares. (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)