TSX climbs on gains in energy stocks

(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index gained on Monday, the last trading day of 2018, boosted by energy stocks as oil prices rose on hints of progress on a possible Sino-U.S. trade deal.

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

* The energy sector climbed 1.5 percent, the most among the nine sectors trading higher, as U.S. crude prices were up 0.6 percent a barrel and Brent crude added 1 percent. [O/R]

* U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter that he had a “long and very good call” with Chinese President Xi Jinping and that a possible trade deal between the United States and China was progressing well.

* The consumer discretionary sector rose 1.19 percent, lifted by Canada Goose’s 6.1 percent rise, the most on the TSX.

* Large crowds flocked to the retailer’s new outdoor-wear store in downtown Beijing, its first in mainland China, since its opening on Friday, despite sub-zero temperatures and a chill in China’s relations with Canada.

* At 9:42 a.m. ET (14:42 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 64.91 points, or 0.46 percent, at 14,286.91.

* The index has fallen 11.97 percent this year, snapping a two-year winning streak and is set to post its worst yearly decline since the financial crisis of 2008.

* On the TSX, 206 issues were higher, while 31 issues declined for a 6.65-to-1 ratio favoring gainers, with 14.10 million shares traded.

* Cannabis producer Aphria Inc fell 4.6 percent, the most on the TSX, pulling away further from Green Growth Brands Ltd’s planned offer price of C$11.

* The second biggest decliner was First Majestic Silver Corp, down 2 percent.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Barrick Gold, Aurora Cannabis and Aphria.

* The TSX posted one new 52-week high and one new low.

* Across all Canadian issues, there were four new 52-week highs and three new lows, with a total volume of 25.90 million shares.

Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli