April 8 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Wednesday, lifted by energy shares tracking stronger oil prices, while hopes that the coronavirus outbreak could be peaking in the United States helped broader sentiment.
* The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations seemed to be leveling off in New York state, the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic, even as coronavirus deaths hit new highs.
* Further boosting sentiment, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Beijing and Washington could reach a trade deal as both sides resumed talks in a bid to end their tariff dispute.
* At 9:50 a.m. ET (1450 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 70.94 points, or 0.52%, at 13,685.08.
* Canada will keep up efforts to persuade the U.S. not to block the export of medical supplies to fight the coronavirus, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday, while the energy-producing province of Alberta warned of an economic disaster.
* The energy sector climbed 1.6% as U.S. crude prices were up 4.0% a barrel, while Brent crude added 1.3%.
* The financials sector inched down 0.1% and the industrials sector rose 0.4%.
* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 1.3% as gold futures rose 0.4% to $1,671.8 an ounce.
* On the TSX, 183 issues were higher, while 41 issues declined for a 4.46-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with 34.26 million shares traded.
* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Intertape Polymer Group Inc, which jumped 14.2% after the packaging company maintained its outlook. Seven Generations Energy Ltd rose 7.1%.
* Hexo Corp slumped 28.7%, the biggest percentage decliner on the TSX, after it priced a C$40 million public offering. Meg Energy Corp, down 4.6%.
* The most heavily traded stocks by volume were Hexo Corp, Bombardier Inc and Bank of Nova Scotia.
* The TSX posted no new 52-week highs and no new lows.
* Across all Canadian issues, there were no new 52-week highs and two new lows, with total volume of 54.16 million shares. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)