Aug 19 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Monday, led by energy companies, as sentiment was buoyed by signs of an interest rate reform in China that raised hopes that major economies would act to counter slowing economic growth.
* China’s central bank unveiled a key interest rate reform on Saturday to help steer borrowing costs lower for companies and support a slowing economy that has been hurt by a trade war with the United States.
* This follows Friday’s report that Germany’s right-left coalition government would be prepared to ditch its balanced budget rule and take on new debt to counter a possible recession.
* At 9:42 a.m. ET (13:42 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 61.6 points, or 0.38%, at 16,211.39.
* As risk appetite in markets across the world improved, government bond yields in the euro zone, as well as the United States eased off record low levels.
* Prices of safe haven gold also slipped, and the materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 1.3%.
* The energy sector climbed 1.6%, the most among the major sectors, as U.S. crude prices were up 1.8% a barrel, while Brent crude added 1.4%.
* Crude oil prices rose after a weekend attack on a Saudi oil facility by Yemeni separatists and as traders looked for signs of progress in U.S.-China trade negotiations.
* On the TSX, 182 issues were higher, while 49 issues declined for a 3.71-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with 16.33 million shares traded.
* The biggest percentage gainer on the TSX was Precision Drilling Corp, which jumped 6.2% after the company lowered its full-year capital expenditure plan
* Canadian Western Bank, which rose 5.1%, was the second biggest gainer on the main index.
* OceanaGold Corp tumbled 5.5%, the most on the TSX, and the second biggest loser was Eldorado Gold, down 4.4%.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Bombardier Inc, Stornoway Diamond Corp, and Avalon Advanced Materials Inc.
* The TSX posted 14 new 52-week highs and two new lows.
* Across all Canadian issues there were 29 new 52-week highs and two new lows, with total volume of 29.19 million shares. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)