June 17 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Wednesday, as signs of more stimulus and improving economic data raised hopes for a sooner-than-expected recovery from the coronavirus-induced recession.
U.S. retail sales increased the most on record in May as businesses reopened, while Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem’s assurance to support the nation’s economic recovery further bolstered sentiment.
* At 9:36 a.m. ET (13:36 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 7.53 points, or 0.05%, at 15,523.36.
* Canada’s annual inflation rate fell 0.4% in May, as the COVID-19 pandemic pushed gasoline prices lower year-over-year, Statistics Canada said.
* The energy sector dropped 1.9% as U.S. crude prices were down 1.6% a barrel, while Brent crude lost 1.1%.
* The financials sector slipped 0.1%, while industrials stocks inched up 0.3%.
* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 1.1% even as gold futures fell 0.7% to $1,717.7 an ounce.
* On the TSX, 97 issues rose, while 126 issues declined with a 1.30-to-1 ratio in favor of the losers, and 11.95 million shares traded.
* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Centerra Gold Inc, which jumped 3.0%, followed by AltaGas Ltd that rose 2.9% after RBC lifted rating on the stock to “outperform” and raised PT by C$2 to C$21.
* Hexo Corp fell 11.1%, the most on the TSX, after the pot producer announced plans to raise equity.
* The second biggest decliner was Shawcor Ltd, down 6.5%.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Hexo Corp , ProMIS Neurosciences Inc, up 8.1%, and Bombardier Inc, up 1%.
* The TSX posted no new 52-week high or low.
* Across Canadian issues there were 10 new 52-week highs and no new low, with total volume of 19.88 million shares. (Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)
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