CANADA STOCKS-Canadian stocks flat as commodity gains offset risk-off selling

(Adds details, updates prices)

Jan 6 (Reuters) - Canada’s main equity index treaded water on Monday as gains in energy and gold stocks countered pressure from a spike in tensions in the Middle East.

* Sabre-rattling by a U.S. air strike in Baghdad killed a top Iranian commander last week, sharply escalating geopolitical tensions in the region as Iran threatened retaliation against U.S. interests.

* At 09:51 a.m. ET (14:51 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 5.65 points, or 0.03%, at 17,071.77.

* The energy sector climbed 1.1% as U.S. crude prices were up 0.5% a barrel, while Brent crude added 0.8% on perceived supply disruptions in the Middle East.

* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.3% as gold prices strengthened on safe haven demand.

* The financials sector and the industrials sector both fell 0.5%.

* On the TSX, 91 issues were higher, while 137 issues declined for a 1.51-to-1 ratio to the downside, with 21.02 million shares traded.

* The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Hudson’s Bay Co, which jumped 9.7% after the company agreed to be taken private.

* First Quantum Minerals fell 4%, the most on the TSX, after the company adopted a shareholder rights plan.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Aurora Cannabis, Baytex Energy Co and Moneta Porcupine Mines Inc.

* The TSX posted four new 52-week highs and one new low.

* Across all Canadian issues, there were 15 new 52-week highs and 4 new lows, with total volume of 41.69 million shares. (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Shinjini Ganguli)