Easing lockdowns across countries propel TSX to 7-week high

(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose to a seven-week high on Tuesday, with oil stocks in the lead, on rising optimism over signs of easing lockdowns imposed to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

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

Several states in the United States allowed businesses to reopen after a near total halt in activity to contain the outbreak, while many other countries such as Italy and Spain plan to reopen economies in the coming weeks. [MKTS/GLOB]

* At 09:38 a.m. ET (13:38 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 167.63 points, or 1.14%, at 14,809.74.

* The energy sector .SPTTEN climbed 2.4% as Brent crude LCOc1 added 3.6%. [O/R]

* The financials sector .SPTTFS gained 1.9%, while the industrials sector .GSPTTIN rose 1.3%.

* The materials sector .GSPTTMT, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.7% as gold futures GCc1 rose 0.3% to $1,716.6 an ounce. [GOL/] [MET/L]

* On the TSX, 196 issues were higher, while 33 issues declined for a 5.94-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with 23.11 million shares traded.

* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Lightspeed POS Inc LSPD.TO, which jumped 9.1%, and BRP Inc DOO.TO, which rose 8.6%.

* Extendicare Inc EXE.TO fell 4.3%, the most on the TSX.

* The second biggest decliner was Barrick Gold ABX.TO, down 2.1%, after Papua New Guinea threatened to take control of a gold mine operated by Barrick in the country after its local unit suspended operations at the weekend following news the mine's lease would not be renewed.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Royal Bank of Canada RY.TO, up 1.6%; Bank Of Montreal BMO.TO, up 1.8% and Katanga Mining KAT.TO, which was flat.

* The TSX posted three new 52-week highs and no new lows.

* Across all Canadian issues there were 8 new 52-week highs and one new low, with total volume of 40.85 million shares.

Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli