June 25 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index struggled for direction on Thursday as worries over an alarming rise in coronavirus cases globally countered gains from a rise in oil prices.
In the United States, Florida, Oklahoma and South Carolina reported record increases in new cases on Wednesday, while Australia posted its biggest daily rise in two months.
* The energy sector climbed 2.8% as U.S. crude prices rose 1.2% a barrel, while Brent crude added 1.3%.
* At 9:57 a.m. ET (14:07 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 16.47 points, or 0.11%, at 15,277.91 in choppy trade.
* The financials sector gained 0.4%, while industrials fell 0.2%.
* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.9% as gold futures slipped 0.1% to $1,764.1 an ounce.
* On the TSX, 42 issues were higher, while 173 issues declined for a 4.12-to-1 ratio to the downside, with 11.19 million shares traded.
* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Northland Power Inc, which jumped 2.8% after BMO raised its target price.
* It was followed by Dream Office Real Estate Investment Trust, which rose 1.4% after National Bank Of Canada upgraded to “outperform” from “sector perform”.
* Interfor Corp fell 5.0%, the most on the TSX, followed by NovaGold Resources Inc, down 4.6%.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Bombardier Inc (down 3.9%), Bonavista Energy Corp (down 9.1%) and Air Canada (down 0.8%).
* The TSX posted one new 52-week high and no new low.
* Across all Canadian issues, there were four new 52-week highs and five new lows, with total volume of 26.27 million shares. (Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)