March 23 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Monday due to heightened fears of a global recession as the fast-spreading coronavirus forced lockdowns across several countries.
* At 9:50 a.m. ET (1350 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite index was down 202.24 points, or 1.71%, at 11,649.57.
* The Canadian death toll from the virus outbreak jumped by more than 50% on Sunday, and impatient officials threatened to punish people refusing to take precautions to fight the spread of the highly contagious illness.
* Seven of the index’s 11 major sectors fell.
* The energy sector dropped 2.6% as U.S. crude prices were down 1.3% a barrel, while Brent crude lost 4%.
* The financials sector slipped 2.8%. The industrials sector fell 0.7%.
* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 1.1% as gold prices rose 2.6%.
* The Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. counterpart as the U.S. Federal Reserve announced additional measures.
* On the TSX, 41 issues were higher, while 189 issues declined for a 4.61-to-1 ratio in favor of downside, with 53.98 million shares traded.
* The top percentage gainer on the TSX were shares of Silvercorp Metals, which jumped 26%, followed by shares of Semafo Inc, which rose 23.1%.
* BRP Inc fell 20.7%, the most on the TSX, followed by shares of Alaris Royalty, down 20.2%.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Canadian Natural Resources and Aurora Cannabis.
* The TSX posted no new 52-week high and 36 new lows.
* Across all Canadian issues there were six new 52-week highs and 232 new lows, with total volume of 88.43 million shares. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)
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