Nov 20 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index dipped on Wednesday, as sentiment soured on concerns over political strain between the United States and China, but a rally in cannabis producers led by Canopy Growth Corp kept losses at bay.
* At 9:47 a.m. ET (1447 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite index was down 20.77 points, or 0.12%, at 16,990.63.
* Washington threatened to raise tariffs on Chinese imports if no deal is reached with Beijing to end a months-long trade war, while China condemned a U.S. Senate measure on Hong Kong, vowing to take steps necessary to safeguard its sovereignty and security.
* Canopy Growth shares jumped 13.5% after Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded the stock to “buy,” saying Wall Street estimates now look achievable for maybe the first time in its history as a public company.
* The broader healthcare sector jumped nearly 3%, with cannabis producers leading gains. Shares in Hexo Corp , Aurora Cannabis, Aphria Inc rose between 7% and 8%.
* Six of the index’s 11 major sectors were trading in the red.
* Data showed Canada’s annual inflation rate in October held steady at 1.9%, in spite of a slight increase in gasoline prices over the previous month.
* On the TSX, 89 issues were higher, while 135 issues declined for a 1.52-to-1 ratio to the downside, with 18.85 million shares traded.
* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Canopy Growth Co and Hexo.
* OceanaGold Corp fell 2.4%, the most on the TSX, followed by a 2% decline in Frontera Energy Corp.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were those of Aurora Cannabis, Katanga Mining and Green Organic Dutchman Holdings.
* Nine stocks on the TSX touched new 52-week highs, while three hit 52-week low.
* Across all Canadian issues, there were 25 new 52-week highs and 11 new lows, with total volume of 33.33 million shares. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)
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