TSX slightly lower as focus shifts to G20 summit

(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index edged lower on Thursday, as investors digested conflicting reports of a potential trade truce between the United States and China at a high-stakes meeting of their leaders at the G20 summit this weekend.

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

At 9:38 a.m. ET (13:38 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 9.02 points, or 0.06%, at 16,303.2.

Six of the index’s 11 major sectors were lower.

The energy sector dropped 0.3% as U.S. and Brent crude prices slipped 0.2% per barrel. [O/R]

The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.7% after gold futures declined 0.7% to $1,401.7 an ounce. [GOL/] [MET/L]

The heavyweight financials sector gained 0.1% and the industrials sector rose 0.3%.

On the TSX, 137 issues were higher, while 88 issues declined for a 1.56-to-1 ratio favoring gainers, with 10.82 million shares traded.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Air Canada, which jumped 3.1% after tour operator Transat AT Inc accepted the airline’s all-cash offer of C$520 million ($396 million) over a higher rival bid. Transat slipped 7.3%.

Empire Co rose 2.8% after the food retail and distribution company reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit.

BlackBerry Ltd fell 3.3%, the most on the TSX, a day after reporting lower-than-expected sales for its biggest business that led brokerages to cut their price targets.

The second-biggest decliner was Alacer Gold Corp, down 2.2%.

The most heavily traded shares by volume were Bank of Nova Scotia, Prometic Life Sciences Inc and Royal Nickel.

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

Across all Canadian issues there were four new 52-week highs and four new lows, with total volume of 20.43 million shares.

Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila