Feb 14 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index eked out gains on Thursday, as a rise in shares of Bombardier and Constellation Software on the back of strong quarterly results offset some of the gloom from a surprise drop in U.S. retail sales.
* At 9:37 a.m. ET (1437 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 14.1 points, or 0.09 percent, at 15,640.83.
* U.S. retail sales recorded their biggest drop in more than nine years in December, suggesting a sharp slowdown in economic activity at the end of 2018.
* On the domestic front, Canadian factory sales fell 1.3 percent in December from November on lower petroleum and coal product sales.
* Seven of the 11 major indexes were higher.
* The energy sector climbed 0.6 percent. U.S. crude prices were down 0.7 percent a barrel, while Brent crude added 0.3 percent.
* The industrials sector rose 0.1 percent.
* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.4 percent.
* On the TSX, 138 issues were higher, while 90 issues declined for a 1.53-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with 16.71 million shares traded.
* The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Bombardier Inc, which jumped 9.8 percent after beating analysts’ estimates for quarterly earnings on the back of higher sales at its business jets segment.
* The second-biggest gainer was Constellation Software Inc , which rose 8.4 percent after reporting better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings.
* Sierra Wireless Inc fell 27.8 percent, the most on the TSX, after the wireless equipment maker posted lower-than-expected fourth quarter profit and revenue.
* The second-biggest decliner was New Gold Inc, down 16.6 percent, after the miner posted quarterly revenue below estimates.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Bombardier, Nemaska Lithium Inc and EcoSynthetix Inc.
* The TSX posted one new 52-week high and one new low.
* Across all Canadian issues, there were nine new 52-week highs and two new lows, with total volume of 25.56 million shares. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)
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