CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls as energy drags, virus cases surge

Nov 12 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index was set to snap a three day winning streak on Thursday, led by a tumble in energy stocks, as rising global coronavirus cases dented sentiment.

* New York introduced social distancing restrictions on Wednesday, as new coronavirus cases in the United States surged above 100,000 for an eighth consecutive day, while Italy surpassed the 1-million infections mark to become one of the top 10 worst-affected countries.

* The energy sector dropped 2.2%, the most among the six major sectors trading lower.

* At 9:44 a.m. ET (1444 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 54.46 points, or 0.32%, at 16,719.68.

* Limiting losses in markets, the materials sector , which includes precious and base metals miners, added 1.5%, supported by higher gold prices.

** Bullion prices gained as optimism over a potential COVID-19 vaccine were overshadowed by worries over the logistics of its eventual roll-out.

* The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Intertape Polymer Group Inc, which jumped 20%, after the packaging products maker posted third-quarter results above estimates.

* Its gains were followed by Home Capital Group Inc , which rose 5.6%, after multiple brokerages raised their price targets on the mortgage lender’s stock.

* On the TSX, 103 issues were higher, while 114 issues declined for a 1.11-to-1 ratio to the downside, with 22.74 million shares traded.

* Bus manufacturer NFI Group Inc fell 6.7%, the most on the TSX, and the second biggest decliner was oil producer Canadian Natural Resources Limited, down 3.3%.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Enbridge Inc , Aurora Cannabis Inc and Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd.

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

* Across all Canadian issues there were 11 new 52-week highs and two new lows, with total volume of 38.92 million shares. (Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)