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CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises as technology and utility shares move higher

* TSX closes up 30.31 points, or 0.17%, at 17,623.88

* Information technology shares rise 0.7%

TORONTO, Dec 24 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Thursday in a shortened trading session ahead of the Christmas holiday, with gains led by the technology and utility sectors as a long-awaited Brexit trade deal boosted investor sentiment.

* The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 30.31 points, or 0.17%, at 17,623.88.

* The information technology group rose 0.7%, helped by a 1.7% advance in the shares of Shopify Inc, the stock with the largest market capitalization on the TSX.

* The largest percentage gainers on the index were TransAlta Corp and its majority owned subsidiary TransAlta Renewables Inc, which jumped 4.9% and 6.5% respectively after the company said it was selling U.S. and Canadian power transmission assets for $439 million to its renewable energy subsidiary.

* The utilities sector ended up 0.7%, while energy was one of three major sectors to close lower, down 0.8%.

* U.S. crude oil futures were up 0.4% at $48.30 a barrel.

* Britain clinched a narrow Brexit trade deal with the European Union just seven days before it exits one of the world’s biggest trading blocs in its most significant global shift since the loss of empire.

* Locally, the value of Canadian building permits rose by 12.9% in November from October, easily beating analyst estimates of a 3.0% gain, Statistics Canada data showed. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Richard Chang)

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