CANADA STOCKS-TSX drops as India-Pakistan tensions worsen

Feb 27 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index declined on Wednesday, mirroring losses in global stocks, as tensions flared up between nuclear-armed neighbours India and Pakistan.

* Both India and Pakistan said on Wednesday they shot down each other’s fighter jets, a day after Indian warplanes struck inside Pakistan for the first time since a 1971 war, prompting world powers to urge restraint.

* At 9:41 a.m. ET (14:41 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 32.16 points, or 0.2 percent, at 16,035.75.

* The energy sector edged up 0.5 percent and was the only sector to be trading higher.

* Oil rallied buoyed by an unexpected decline in U.S. crude inventories and after Saudi Arabia appeared undaunted by pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump on OPEC to prevent steeper price rises.

* The Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. counterpart, as higher oil prices offset tame domestic inflation data that supported a patient approach from the Bank of Canada on raising interest rates further.

* Lower gasoline prices pulled down Canada’s annual inflation rate in January to 1.4 percent from 2 percent in December, reinforcing market expectations that imminent interest rate hikes are off the table.

* The heavy weight financial sector inched down 0.2 percent.

* On the TSX, 94 issues were higher, while 137 issues declined for a 1.46-to-1 ratio to the downside, with traded volume touching 20.75 million shares.

* The largest percentage gainer on the TSX was Cogeco Communications Inc, which rose 6.7 percent after company sold cloud services unit.

* Cogeco’s gains were followed by Secure Energy Services Inc , which rose 4.9 percent after reporting quarterly results.

* Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd fell 11.2 percent, the most on the TSX, after company announced 2019 forecast.

* The second biggest decliner was Sleep Country Canada Holdings Inc, down 9.9 percent after reporting quarterly results.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Aurora Cannabis Inc, Nemaska Lithium Inc and Royal Nickel Corp.

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

* Across all Canadian issues, there were 11 new 52-week highs and one new low, with total volume touching 33.89 million shares. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel)