February 1, 2019 / 3:20 PM / 20 days ago

CANADA STOCKS-Healthcare shares drive gains on TSX

Feb 1 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Friday, as a rally in shares of cannabis companies lifted healthcare sector.

* Eight of the major Canadian sectors were trading higher, led by a 2.4 percent gain in healthcare sector.

* The sector was helped by a rally in shares of cannabis producers. The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Aphria Inc, which surged 8.5 percent, and Cronos Group Inc , which rose 7.9 percent.

* At 9:48 a.m. ET (14:48 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 25.66 points, or 0.17 percent, at 15,566.26.

* The Canadian dollar strengthened to its highest in nearly three months against its U.S. counterpart, as oil prices rose, while the greenback broadly declined despite U.S. data showing that employers hired the most workers in 11 months.

* A surge in U.S. job growth in January pointed to underlying strength in the economy despite a darkening outlook that has left the Federal Reserve wary about more interest rate hikes this year.

* On the TSX, 119 issues were higher, while 110 issues declined for a 1.08-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with traded volumes touching 22.46 million shares.

* Celestica plunged 14.1 percent, the most on the TSX, after its fourth-quarter revenue and adjusted profit fell below expectations.

* It's decline was followed by Teck Resources Ltd, down 3 percent, after the diversified miner warned that its fourth-quarter profit will be significantly below market estimates, hurt by "disappointing" business at its energy and trail operation units.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Aphria Inc , Aurora Cannabis and The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd.

* The TSX posted six new 52-week highs and one new low.

* Across all Canadian issues, there were 17 new 52-week highs and four new lows, with total volume touching 38.19 million shares. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel)

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