CANADA STOCKS-TSX advances on China stimulus, easing trade worries

Jan 2 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose, tracking gains in global equity markets, in the first trading day of the year on Thursday as Beijing unveiled fresh monetary stimulus and trade tensions further eased.

* At 09:53 a.m. ET (14:53 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 61.82 points, or 0.36%, at 17,125.25.

* China’s central bank on Wednesday lowered the reserve requirement ratio for banks for the eighth time since 2018, with the latest cut freeing up around 800 billion yuan ($115 billion).

* China’s attempt to boost its flagging economy and U.S. President Donald Trump’s comment that Phase 1 of trade deal with China would be signed on Jan. 15 at the White House have helped Wall Street start the year at record levels.

* Six of the TSX’s 11 major sectors were trading higher.

* The energy sector climbed 0.5% on the back of higher oil prices. U.S. crude prices were up 0.3% a barrel, while Brent crude added 0.6%.

* The financials sector gained 0.3%, while the industrials sector rose 0.5%.

* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.6% as gold futures rose 0.5% to $1,527.2 an ounce.

* On the TSX, 139 issues were higher, while 81 issues declined for a 1.72-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with 25.90 million shares traded.

* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Ballard Power Systems, which jumped 6.7%, and Hudbay Minerals Inc, which rose 3%.

* Cannabis stocks were the laggards for the day. Cronos Group Inc fell 3.2%, the most on the TSX. The second biggest decliner was Aphria Inc, down 3%.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Aurora Cannabis, Bank of Nova Scotia and Aphria.

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

* Across all Canadian issues there were 38 new 52-week highs and six new lows, with total volume of 43.28 million shares. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)