October 19, 2018 / 2:31 PM / a month ago

CANADA STOCKS-Main stock index higher after inflation data

Oct 19 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Friday after data showed annual inflation rate dipped as price pressures from gas and air travel eased.

* At 9:48 a.m. ET (1348 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 109.72 points, or 0.71 percent, at 15,513.85.

* Statistics Canada said the annual inflation rate in September fell to 2.2 percent from 2.8 percent as price pressures from gas and air travel eased.

* Investors, however, expect the central bank to raise interest rates again next week.

* "We always knew we were going to see headline CPI inflation trend back down towards 2 percent ... the hike next week is going to happen," said Andrew Kelvin, senior rates strategist at TD Securities.

* The financials sector gained 0.5 percent.

* The main index was on track to end the week higher after three consecutive weeks of declines.

* Also, the sentiment was boosted by the energy sector , which rose 1.1 percent as oil prices moved up on signs of surging demand in China, the world's second-biggest oil consumer.

* U.S. crude prices were up 0.9 percent, while Brent crude added 1.3 percent.

* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners, added 1 percent, as copper and nickel prices rose after regulators in China pledged support for firms with liquidity issues, brought on by months of slowing growth.

* On the TSX, 215 issues were higher, while 27 issues declined for a 7.96-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with volume touching 22.40 million shares.

* Top percentage gainers on the TSX were shares of Badger Daylighting, which jumped 4.6 percent, followed by shares of Detour Gold, which rose 3.9 percent.

* Lucara Diamond fell 1.9 percent, the most on the TSX, followed by shares of Rogers Communications, down 1.8 percent.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Aurora Cannabis, Aphria Inc and Royal Nickel .

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

* Across all Canadian issues, there were three new 52-week highs and 14 new lows, with total volume touching 35.06 million shares. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru and additional reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by James Emmanuel)

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