TSX near record high as virus fears subside

(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index hovered near an all-time high on Friday after the World Health Organisation tempered fears over the coronavirus outbreak in China.

FILE PHOTO: A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) stock information is seen in Toronto June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

At 9:48 a.m. ET (1448 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 1.98 points, or 0.01%, at 17,623.76.

World stocks got a lift after World Health Organization labeled the viral infection an emergency for China, but not yet for the rest of the world. [MKTS/GLOB]

U.S. President Donald Trump will sign a trade pact between the United States, Mexico and Canada on Wednesday during a ceremony at the White House, an administration official told Reuters. [nL1N29S1V1]

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which replaces NAFTA, still needs to be formally approved by Canada.

Industrial and technology stocks were leading gains among major sectors.

The energy sector dropped 1% as U.S. crude prices fell 2% a barrel, while Brent crude lost 1.9%. [O/R]

The financials sector slipped 0.1%.

On the TSX, 138 issues were higher, while 90 issues declined for a 1.53-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with 17.45 million shares traded.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Ballard Power Systems Inc and Real Matters Inc, which rose 5% and 2.9%, respectively.

Meg Energy Corp MEG.TO fell 3.1%, the most on the TSX. The second-biggest decliner was Aphria Inc CPG.TO, down 2.9%.

The most heavily traded shares by volume were Aphria, Encana Corp ECA.TO and Burcon NutraScience Corp BU.TO.

The TSX posted 23 new 52-week highs and two new lows.

Across all Canadian issues, there were 91 new 52-week highs and four new lows, with total volume of 32.64 million shares.

Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru