March 26, 2020 / 2:22 PM / 15 days ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as Ottawa doubles stimulus package

March 26 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Thursday after Ottawa voted to almost double an aid package aimed at helping people and businesses deal with losses due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Legislators handed out a package worth C$52 billion ($36.62 billion), up from an initial C$27 billion outlined last week.

At 9:50 a.m. ET (1350 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite index was up 206.75 points, or 1.57%, at 13,345.98.

All of the index’s 11 major sectors were up, with the materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners, gaining 1.9% as prices of gold edged higher.

A large exporter of commodities including oil and gold, Canada has been exposed to the wild swings in prices of metals and crude. The main index has lost about 25% from its record February closing high.

Meanwhile, Ontario, the world’s biggest sub-sovereign debtor, forecast on Wednesday a jump in its 2020-21 budget deficit as it provides a C$17 billion ($12 billion) financial package in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The energy sector climbed 1.4%, while the financials sector gained 1.5%.

Investors and analysts, however, are bracing for Canadian banks to be hit harder than they were during the global financial crisis despite stronger balance sheets.

On the TSX, 185 issues were higher, while 43 issues declined for a 4.30-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with 37.23 million shares traded.

The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were shares of cannabis producer Hexo Corp, which jumped 14.7%, followed by shares of aircraft repair and overhaul services provider Chorus Aviation, which rose 13.1%.

Hudbay Minerals fell 6.6%, the most on the TSX.

The most heavily traded shares by volume were Bombardier and Aurora Cannabis.

The TSX posted no new 52-week high and two new lows.

Across all Canadian issues there was one new 52-week high and 10 new lows, with total volume of 62.49 million shares. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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