May 22, 2020 / 2:25 PM / 3 months ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls as oil weakens, Sino-U.S. tensions rise

May 22 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index was dragged down by energy stocks on Friday, as oil prices fell and tensions between the United States and China rose.

* At 9:44 a.m. ET (13:43 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 25.83 points, or 0.17%, at 14,859.02.

* The nation’s domestic retail sales fell a record 10% in March as many non-essential businesses were shut down to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Statistics Canada said on Friday, and also warned that April data could reveal an even sharper decline.

* The energy sector dropped 2.2% as U.S. crude prices fell 3.0% a barrel, while Brent crude lost 3.1%.

* The financials sector slipped 1.1%, while industrial stocks rose 0.2%.

* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metal miners and fertilizer companies, added 1.9% as gold futures rose 0.4% to $1,726.6 an ounce.

* On the TSX, 77 issues were higher, while 143 issues declined for a 1.86-to-1 ratio in favor of the losers, with 26.60 million shares traded.

* The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was software developer Lightspeed POS Inc, which jumped 6.1% as multiple brokerages raised price targets on the stock.

* Lightspeed was followed by miner Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd , which rose 5.1% as rising Sino-U.S. tension drew concerned investors to safe havens.

* Aurora Cannabis Inc fell 4.4%, the most on the TSX, after several brokerages cut price targets on the pot company’s stock.

* The second-biggest decliner was Vermilion Energy Inc , down 4.7%.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Manulife Financial Corp, down 0.9%, and Sun Life Financial Inc , which fell 0.5%.

* The TSX posted two new 52-week highs and no new low.

* Across all Canadian issues, there were nine new 52-week highs and one new low, with total volume of 42.29 million shares.

Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi

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