TSX rises as energy stocks track oil price gains

(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index opened higher on Wednesday as energy stocks tracked gains in oil prices, which rose on hopes for a recovery in demand due to a drop in U.S. crude inventories.* The American Petroleum Institute API said on Tuesday that crude stocks fell by 4 million barrels last week, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a draw of 2.9 million barrels.* The energy sector climbed 2.3% as U.S. crude prices were up 2.1% a barrel, while Brent crude added 1.8%. [O/R]

FILE PHOTO: Monitors display the stock market numbers in the financial district as the number of novel coronavirus cases continues to grow in Toronto, Ontario, Canada March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio

* At 09:38 a.m. ET (13:38 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 158.78 points, or 0.96%, at 16,655.79.

* The Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday as oil prices rose and investors weighed prospects of U.S. economic stimulus, while Canada’s 10-year yield climbed to its highest in more than two months.

* World’s largest civil aviation training company CAE Inc fell 3.1% as it reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss on Wednesday.

* The financials sector gained 1.1%, while the industrials sector rose 0.9%.

* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 1.5% as gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,927.1 an ounce.[GOL/]

* On the TSX, 198 issues were higher, while 18 issues declined for a 11-to-1 ratio favoring gainers, with 15.53 million shares traded.

* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Hudbay Minerals HBM.TO, which jumped 8.5% on better-than-expected quarterly results, and BRP Inc DOO.TO, which rose 7.1%.

* Boralex Inc BLX.TO fell 2.9%, the most on the TSX, after announcing a $175 mln share offering. The second biggest decliner was Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc ATDb.TO, down 1.7%.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were B2Gold Corp BTO.TO,Bombardier Inc BBDb.TO and Barrick Gold Corp ABX.TO.

* The TSX posted 1 new 52-week high and no new low.

* Across all Canadian issues, there were 10 new 52-week highs and new low, with total volume of 32.58 million shares.

Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi