June 4 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Thursday as the heavyweight energy sector dropped on lower oil prices, with bleak trade data for April further denting sentiment.
* The nation’s exports and imports plunged in April as the coronavirus-fueled lockdowns forced factories and retail stores to shut businesses, Statistics Canada said.
* At 9:44 a.m. ET (13:44 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 41.53 points, or 0.27%, at 15,533.58.
* The energy sector dropped 0.9% as U.S. crude prices were down 1.5%, while Brent crude lost 1.0%.
* The financials sector slipped 1.0%. The industrials sector remain unchanged.
* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 1.6% as gold futures rose 0.9% to $1,713.3 an ounce.
* On the TSX, 68 issues were higher, while 158 issues declined for a 2.32-to-1 ratio to the downside, with 34.09 million shares traded.
* The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Silvercorp Metals Inc, which jumped 5.8%.
* Its gains were followed by Methanex Corp, which rose 5.4% after the methanol producer and supplier secured additional financial flexibility under its credit facilities.
* Baytex Energy Corp fell 4.7%, the most on the TSX.
* The second-biggest decliner was outdoor apparel maker Canada Goose Holdings Inc, down 3.8%, after surging on Wednesday as it announced plans to limit shipments to department stores and focus on its own outlets and website.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Canadian Natural Resources Ltd, down 0.9%; Suncor Energy Inc , down 0.9% and Imperial Oil Ltd, down 1.0%.
* The TSX posted no new 52-week highs and no new lows.
* Across all Canadian issues there were five new 52-week highs and no new lows, with total volume of 51.07 million shares. (Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)