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Jan 9 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index hit a record high on Thursday, helped by easing tensions in the Middle East, while the Chinese confirmation of an interim trade deal next week also supported investors’ risk appetite.
* The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index rose as much as 0.4% to a record high of 17,243.680.
* U.S. President Donald Trump imposed more sanctions on Iran in response to a missile strike on U.S.-led forces, quelling fears of a military retaliation by the United States.
* China’s commerce ministry said Vice Premier Liu He will sign a Phase 1 trade deal in Washington next week, raising hopes that a prolonged U.S.-China tariff war will come to a close.
* However, data showed that Canadian housing sector will see a surprise decline in December, dulling the investor mood.
* Technology stocks, which gained about 1.5%, were the best performers, led by ecommerce platform Shopify Inc
* The energy sector dropped 1.0% as oil prices retreated amid waning concerns over supply disruptions in the Middle East.
* On the TSX, 151 issues were higher, while 78 issues declined for a 1.94-to-1 ratio favoring gainers, with 20.17 million shares traded.
* The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Pembina Pipeline, which jumped 5.5% after pipeline operator Kinder Morgan Inc said it had sold Pembina’s 25 million shares, which it had received when Pembina bought Kinder Morgan Canada.
* Baytex Energy Co fell 3.7%, the most on the TSX, while the second-biggest decliner was Encana Corp.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Aurora Cannabis, Encana Corp and Pembina Pipeline.
* The TSX posted 14 new 52-week highs and no new lows.
* Across all Canadian issues there were 62 new 52-week highs and five new lows, with total volume of 33.11 million shares. (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Vinay Dwivedi)
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