(Updates with sectors)
Sept 23 (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index fell in early trade on Wednesday as a surge in domestic coronavirus cases and downbeat U.S. business activity in September dented investor sentiment.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will unveil later in the day what he says is a far-reaching plan to help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic while ensuring efforts to fight the outbreak do not falter.
* At 9:13 a.m. ET (1413 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 43.63 points, or 0.27%, at 16,099.26.
* Canada is at a “crossroads” in the fight against a second surge of COVID-19 infections, health officials said on Tuesday, when cases rose by 1,248 from the previous day.
* The Canadian dollar fell to a six-week low against its broadly stronger U.S. counterpart, as data showed euro zone business growth grinding to a halt this month and as investors awaited details of Ottawa’s spending proposals.
* The energy sector dropped 0.2% even as U.S. crude prices were up 0.6% a barrel and Brent crude added 0.6%.
* The financials and industrials sectors gained 0.5% and 0.8%, respectively.
* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 2.8% as gold futures fell 1.2% to $1,875.5 an ounce.
* On the TSX, 70 issues were higher, while 148 issues declined for a 2.11-to-1 ratio to the downside, with 41.69 million shares traded.
* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Canada Goose Holdings, which jumped 4.7%, and Brookfield Property Partners, which rose 2.5%.
* Aurora Cannabis fell 22.4%, the most on the TSX, after it forecast revenue below Street estimates, while the second biggest decliner was New Gold, down 9.0%
* The most heavily-traded shares by volume were Canadian Natural Resources, Bombardier Inc and Aurora Cannabis.
* The TSX posted four new 52-week highs and one new low.
* Across all Canadian issues there were eight new 52-week highs and six new lows, with total volume of 75.35 million shares. (Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)