(Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index gave up early gains to trade lower on Friday, as fears of a deep recession fueled by the coronavirus pandemic overshadowed gains in energy stocks boosted by higher oil prices.
* Canada faces “a critical week” in fighting the coronavirus, a senior official said, as the death toll surged to 161 from 105 on Wednesday, while positive cases rose to 11,131 from 9,017.
* At 9:51 a.m. ET (1351 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was down 40.98 points, or 0.31%, at 13,056.86. The index had opened about 0.3% higher. * The main index is set to end the week 3% higher and mark its second straight week of gains.
* The energy sector .SPTTEN climbed 1.4%, as oil prices continued to gain on rising hopes of a new global deal to cut global crude supply. [O/R]
* U.S. crude CLc1 prices were up 7.2% a barrel, while Brent crude LCOc1 added 12.2%. [O/R]
* Six of the index’s 11 major sectors were lower. The financials sector .SPTTFS slipped 0.6% and the industrials sector .GSPTTIN fell 0.8%.
* The materials sector .GSPTTMT, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.4% as gold futures eked out gains. [GOL/] [MET/L]
* On the TSX, 88 issues were higher, while 141 issues declined for a 1.60-to-1 ratio to the downside, with 43.00 million shares traded.
* The TSX posted no new 52-week high and no new low.
* Across all Canadian issues there were one new 52-week high and six new lows, with total volume of 69.16 million shares.
Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel