November 2, 2018 / 2:14 PM / 11 days ago

CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises on U.S.-China trade deal hopes

Nov 2 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index gained on Friday, lifted by fresh hopes that the United States and China will take steps to resolve their trade dispute.

* President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping expressed optimism about resolving the trade dispute ahead of a high-stakes meeting at the end of November in Argentina.

* At 9:44 a.m. ET (13:44 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 65.73 points, or 0.43 percent, at 15,215.88.

* Eight of Canada’s 11 major sectors were trading higher, led by the heavy-weight financial sector’s 1.1 percent rise.

* The gains in financials came after data showed that the Canadian economy added jobs in October with a surge in full-time hiring, and the unemployment rate dipped to a 40-year low, underpinning expectations that the Bank of Canada would keep raising interest rates.

* The Canadian economy added 11,200 jobs in October on higher full-time hiring, and the unemployment rate dipped to 5.8 percent.

* Separate data showed that Canada’s trade deficit in September shrank to C$416 million as imports fell at a faster pace than exports, while August imports had been almost C$1 billion higher than initially reported.

* Imperial Oil Ltd rose 3.6 percent after reporting quarterly profit that more than doubled as production volumes rose and the company earned more from refining crude.

* On the TSX, 137 issues were higher, while 102 issues declined for a 1.34-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with traded volume at 22.90 million shares.

* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Interfor Corp, which jumped 8.1 percent, followed by Manulife Financial Corp, which rose 5.1 percent.

* Sleep Country Canada fell 20.4 percent, the most on the TSX, after its third quarter revenue and profit fall below expectations.

* The second biggest decliner was Alamos Gold, down 11.0 percent, after the company’s quarterly results miss analysts’ estimates.

* Among the most heavily traded shares by volume were cannabis producers The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings , and Aurora Cannabis.

* The TSX posted one new 52-week high and 5 new lows.

* Across all Canadian issues, there were two new 52-week highs and 15 new lows, with a total volume of 41.09 million shares. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel)

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