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CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as oil surge boosts energy stocks

(Adds details, updates index figures)

March 31 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose 2% on Tuesday, as a jump in oil prices boosted energy stocks after the United States and Russia agreed to talks aimed at stabilizing the industry.

* All of the index’s 11 major sectors were higher, led by the energy sector which jumped 12.2%. U.S. crude prices were up 3.8% a barrel, while Brent crude added 0.9%.

* A tumble in crude prices have resulted in a nearly 49% plunge in Canadian energy stocks this month, making it the worst monthly decline ever.

* At 9:43 a.m. ET (1343 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite index was up 309.73 points, or 2.38%, at 13,348.23.

* Canada’s main index is down 18% so far in March, set to post its worst month since August 1998.

* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners, added 1.7%, the least among the major sub indexes.

* A 2% fall in gold prices kept a lid on the sector’s gains as the dollar strengthened and strong Chinese economic data boosted risk appetite.

* Also lifting the mood, Ottawa said it will waive ground lease rents for airports until December 2020, providing relief worth C$331.4 million ($233.4 million) to help the air transport sector deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

* The news helped shares of Air Canada rise 1%.

* On the TSX, 207 issues were higher, while 21 issues declined for a 9.86-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with 30.51 million shares traded.

* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were shares of oil producer Cenovus Energy, which jumped 17%, followed by bigger rival Canadian Natural Resources, which rose 16.8%.

* Cannabis Cronos Group Inc fell 8.8%, the most on the TSX.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were those of StageZero Life Sciences, Cenovus and Suncor Energy .

* The TSX posted one new 52-week high and one new low.

* Across all Canadian issues there were one new 52-week high and two new lows, with total volume of 54.34 million shares. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

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