CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls with MEG Energy leading declines, coronavirus fears linger

March 2 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Monday on concerns over the economic impact of the coronavirus, with losses led by oil and gas producer MEG Energy, which sought to shelve an oil sands project.

* At 9:50 a.m. ET (1444 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite index was down 23.62 points, or 0.15%, at 16,239.43.

* The global death toll from the virus outbreak rose above 3,000, with the virus having spread to 53 countries outside China.

* MEG Energy fell 5% in early trading, and was the top percentage loser on the main index.

* MEG Energy Corp has asked Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) for a three-year delay to the approval process of a proposed oil sands project in the province, because of what it called continuing difficulties, the Globe and Mail reported.

* Seven of the index’s 11 major sectors were lower, led by the energy sector, which dropped 1.2%.

* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners, added 1.1% as gold prices gained in the risk-off environment.

* In a bright spot, data showed Canadian manufacturing activity expanded in February at its quickest pace in a year, which could offer some reassurance to the central bank on economic outlook ahead of an interest rate decision this week.

* On the TSX, 101 issues were higher, while 127 issues declined for a 1.26-to-1 ratio to the downside, with 42.81 million shares traded.

* The biggest percentage gainers on the TSX were MAG Silver Corp, which jumped 5.4%, followed by shares in Ballard Power, which rose 4.9%.

* Shares of Suncor Energy and Bombardier Inc were the most heavily traded by volume.

* The TSX posted no new 52-week high and four new lows.

* Across all Canadian issues there were 10 new 52-week highs and 26 new lows, with total volume of 71.52 million shares. (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)