December 24, 2019 / 3:30 PM / a month ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX flat in thin trading ahead of Christmas

(Adds details, updates prices)

Dec 24 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index idled near record highs on Tuesday in thin trading ahead of Christmas as gains in energy shares were offset by losses in financials and cannabis producers.

* At 09:58 a.m. ET (14:58 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 4.85 points, or 0.03%, at 17,123.86.

* Still, the index is trading near all-time highs hit earlier this week on hopes of an end to the bruising U.S.-China trade war and was on course for its best annual gains in a decade.

* Gains in oil prices boosted energy shares by 0.7%. Brent crude rose 0.45% after Russia said cooperation with the OPEC on supply cuts would continue and on signs Saudi Arabia and Kuwait could take as much as a year to bring a major field back to full capacity.

* Material stocks were lifted by gold prices, which rose after weak U.S. data. OceanaGold Corp, Torex Gold Resources and Iamgold Corp rose between 3% and 5%.

* Among the weak spots, Aurora Cannabis shares fell 3% to hit a more than two-year low, adding to recent losses after the firm announced the departure of chief corporate officer Cam Battley. The healthcare sector was down over 1%.

* Shares in Correvio Pharma Corp fell 8% after the U.S. FDA declined to approve the company’s drug to correct irregular rhythm in the upper chambers of the heart.

* Declines for banks including Bank of Nova Scotia and Toronto-Dominion Bank dragged the financial sector down by 0.4%.

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

* Across all Canadian issues there were 34 new 52-week highs and three new lows, with total volume of 37.27 million shares.

* On the TSX, 119 issues were higher, while 105 issues declined for a 1.13-to-1 ratio favoring gainers, with 19.55 million shares traded. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Arun Koyyur)

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