CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls due to Sino-U.S. tensions, rising coronavirus cases

July 24 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Friday, weighed by escalating tensions between the United States and China and fears of mounting coronavirus cases across the world.

* Beijing ordered Washington to close its consulate in Chengdu, in retaliation for being told to shut its consulate in Houston earlier this week.

** Technology stocks fell 2.6%, leading losses in the region, weighed by e-commerce company Shopify Inc tumbling 3.2%.

* At 9:35 a.m. ET (1335 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 41.18 points, or 0.26%, at 15,977.47.

* For the third straight day, the United States recorded more than 1,100 deaths related to the novel coronavirus, while India reported over 49,000 fresh cases, marking the biggest daily surge in cases.

* The energy sector climbed 0.5% as U.S. crude prices were up 0.5% a barrel, while Brent crude added 0.3%.

* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.8%.

* On the TSX, 64 issues were higher, while 153 issues declined for a 2.39-to-1 ratio to the downside, with 8.08 million shares traded.

* The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Mullen Group Ltd, which jumped 7.3%, after multiple brokerages turned hiked their price target on the freight transportation provider after it reported results on Thursday.

* Its gains were followed by Winpak Ltd, which rose 6.1%, after two brokerages raised their price target on the stock after the packaging materials manufacturer reported quarterly profit that topped estimates.

* Ballard Power Systems Inc fell 6.3%, the most on the TSX, and the second biggest decliner was First Quantum Minerals Ltd, down 3.7%.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Royal Bank of Canada, down 0.3%; Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd and Bombardier Inc, down 2.2%.

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

* Across all Canadian issues there were 18 new 52-week highs and no new low, with total volume of 22.09 million shares. (Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)