September 26, 2018 / 2:15 PM / 20 days ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX higher as banks gain ahead of expected U.S. rate hike

Sept 26 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index climbed on Wednesday, supported by banking stocks ahead of a widely expected interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

* At 9:49 a.m. ET (1349 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 52.06 points, or 0.32 percent, at 16,211.56.

* Wall Street’s three main indices edged higher, as investors widely expected a third interest rate hike by the U.S. central bank while awaiting for clues about the pace of further monetary policy tightening.

* Nine of the index’s 11 major sectors were trading higher, led by a 0.4 percent rise in the financial sector.

* Shares of Bank of Nova Scotia, Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Montreal and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce each rose between 0.5 percent and 0.8 percent.

* The industrials sector gained 0.4 percent.

* The energy sector inched up 0.1 percent. U.S. crude prices per barrel were down 0.7 percent, while Brent crude lost 0.8 percent.

* The top decliner was the materials sector, which lost 1.1 percent as spot gold fell 0.5 percent to $1,194.79 an ounce, while copper prices declined 0.5 percent to $6,285 a tonne.

* The top gainers on the TSX were Magna International , which jumped 1.7 percent and Dream Office REIT , which rose 1.5 percent.

* Pretium Resources fell 3.5 percent, the most on the TSX. The second biggest decliner was CES Energy Solutions Corp, with a 3.3 percent slide.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Royal Nickel , Aurora Cannabis and Trevali Mining.

* The TSX posted one new 52-week high and two new lows.

* Across all Canadian issues there were five new 52-week highs and 12 new lows, with total volume of 36.74 million shares. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru)

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