March 19, 2019 / 2:09 PM / 6 months ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX gains on energy boost; investors await federal budget

March 19 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Tuesday, helped by gains in energy shares that got a lift from higher crude prices.

* Canada’s government will present its last budget ahead of the federal election in October, which is expected to include plenty of stimulus measures. Details will be released at 4 p.m. ET (2000 GMT) on Tuesday.

* The U.S. Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting also begins on Tuesday.

* The interest rate-sensitive financials sector inched up 0.1 percent.

* At 9:42 a.m. ET (13:42 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 8.45 points, or 0.05 percent, at 16,259.82.

* Healthcare sector, up 1.67 percent, led the gains among the 5 major sectors trading higher. The sector was helped by rise in cannabis producers.

* The energy sector rose 0.7 percent as U.S. crude prices were up 0.6 percent per barrel, while Brent crude added 0.6 percent.

* Oil prices were supported by supply cuts by OPEC members and falling output in Iran and Venezuela due to U.S. sanctions.

* On the TSX, 141 issues were higher, while 95 issues declined for a 1.48-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with traded volume touching 23.40 million shares.

* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Hexo Corp , which rose 6.7 percent, and Maple Leaf Foods Inc , which rose 4.3 percent, after TD Securities upgrades to “action list buy” from “buy”

* Northland Power Inc fell 10 percent, the most on the TSX, after $750 million secondary stock offering.

* This was followed by Westshore Terminals Investment Corp , down 2 percent.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Aurora Cannabis, up 1.9 percent, Hexo Corp and Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd, up 5.1 percent.

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

* Across all Canadian issues, there were 30 new 52-week highs and two new lows, with total traded volume touching 38.03 million shares. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel)

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