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CANADA STOCKS-TSX falls as energy and materials stocks drag

(Adds details and updates prices; No Canadian markets report on Dec. 25 due to Christmas holiday)

Dec 24 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Thursday in a shortened trading session, driven by weakness in both energy and materials stocks, while hopes for a bigger coronavirus economic relief package in United States limited losses.

* At 09:41 a.m. ET (14:41 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 19.21 points, or 0.11%, at 17,574.36.

* The energy sector dropped 1.2% on falling crude prices, while adding to the downbeat mood, the materials sector , which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.8%.

* 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

* Fuel-cell products developer Ballard Power Systems Inc fell 4.1%, the most on the TSX, and the second biggest decliner was pot producer Aurora Cannabis Inc, down 2.9%.

* The financials sector slipped 0.2%. The industrials sector fell 0.2%.

* On the TSX, 61 issues were higher, while 150 issues declined for a 2.46-to-1 ratio to the downside, with 13.46 million shares traded.

* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were TransAlta Corp, and its majority owned subsidiary TransAlta Renewables Inc, which jumped 6.6% and 4.4% respectively after the power firm said it is selling power transmission assets in Canada and the U.S. for $439 million to its renewable energy subsidiary.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Power Corporation of Canada , Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and TC Energy Corp.

* The TSX posted three new 52-week highs and no new lows.

* Across all Canadian issues there were 15 new 52-week highs and no new lows, with total volume of 26.71 million shares. (Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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