(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.
* 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
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