December 4, 2018 / 3:30 PM / 13 days ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX drops on fall in healthcare shares, fading trade hopes

Dec 4(Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Tuesday, led by healthcare shares, while market sentiment was hurt by fading hopes of a swift resolution to the U.S.-China trade dispute.

* At 9:34 a.m. ET (14:34 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 41.76 points, or 0.27 percent, at 15,233.22.

* The healthcare sector fell 3.1 percent, the most among the 11 major sectors.

* Aphria Inc plunged over 20 percent, extending losses from the previous session. The cannabis producer defended its Latin American operations from claims in a short-seller report on Monday that the company had overpaid for assets.

* Bank of Montreal fell 1.1 percent, after Canada’s fourth-biggest lender reported fourth-quarter earnings, ending a mixed earnings season for Canada’s biggest banks.

* The financials sector edged down 0.5 percent.

* The energy sector dropped 0.1 percent as U.S. crude prices pared gains to trade up 0.3 percent per barrel, while Brent crude added 1 percent.

* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertiliser companies, added 0.3 percent as gold futures edged up 0.4 percent to $1,238.4 an ounce.

* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Trican Well Service, which surged 9.9 percent as Raymond James raised rating on its stock to “strong buy” from “outperform”.

* Second biggest gainer was Teck Resources B, which rose 3.2 percent, after the mining company agreed to sell a 30 percent stake in its Quebrada Blanca copper mine expansion project in northern Chile to Japan’s Sumitomo for $1.2 billion.

* Aphria Inc declined the most on the TSX, while the second biggest decliner was Osisko Gold Royalties, down 3 percent.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Aphria Inc , Trican Well Svc and Aurora Cannabis .

* On the TSX, 73 issues were higher, while 165 issues declined for a 2.26-to-1 ratio to the downside, with volume touching 12.38 million shares.

* The TSX posted two new 52-week highs and four new lows.

* Across all Canadian issues, there were four new 52-week highs and 12 new lows, with total volume touching 18.71 million shares. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel)

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