TSX set for best quarter since 2009 on recovery hopes

(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index inched higher on Tuesday and was on track for its best quarter since the global financial crisis, as estimates of an economic expansion in May bolstered hopes for a faster post-pandemic recovery.

FILE PHOTO: The Art Deco facade of the original Toronto Stock Exchange building is seen on Bay Street in Toronto, Ontario, Canada January 23, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

* Canada’s real GDP is likely to have grown 3% in May, bouncing back from a record decline in April, Statistics Canada said in a flash estimate on Tuesday, as businesses across the country began to reopen following coronavirus-linked shutdowns.

* At 11:35 a.m. ET (1535 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 39.8 points, or 0.26%, at 15,429.52, and was on course for its biggest quarterly percentage gain since the second quarter of 2009.

* However, the energy sector dropped 1.7% as U.S. crude prices were down 0.1% a barrel, while Brent crude lost 1.2%. [O/R]

* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 1.9% as gold futures rose 0.8% to $1,789.4 an ounce. [GOL/] [MET/L]

* On the TSX, 141 issues were higher, while 78 issues declined for a 1.81-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with 72.05 million shares traded.

* The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Real Matters Inc REAL.TO with a 7.5% jump, followed by Iamgold Corp IMG.TO, which rose 7.0%.

* Cineplex CGX.TO fell 16.6% to a more than three-month low, the most on the TSX, after reporting a hit to first-quarter results from the COVID-19 pandemic.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Bonavista Energy BNP.TO, Baytex Energy Co BTE.TO, and B2gold Corp BTO.TO.

* The TSX posted 13 new 52-week highs and no new low.

* Across all Canadian issues there were 38 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows, with total volume of 154.14 million shares.

Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni