CANADA STOCKS-TSX slips on decline in bullion prices, grim employment data

Jan 8 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index fell on Friday, weighed by materials sector as gold prices took a hit and more job cuts for the first time since April due to curbs placed to stem a second wave of COVID-19 cases.

* At 9:52 a.m. ET (14:52 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 14.84 points, or 0.08%, at 18,012.73.

* Gold fell below the key $1,900 technical level on Friday and was on track for a weekly decline, pressured by gains in the dollar and Treasury yields.

* Canada lost 62,600 jobs, more than double of analysts’ expectations of a decline of 27,500, while the unemployment rate edged up to 8.6%.

* The energy sector dropped 0.7% as U.S. crude prices were up 1.4% a barrel, while Brent crude added 1.6%.

* The financials sector gained 0.2%. The industrials sector rose 0.9%.

* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 3.7% as gold futures fell 1.4% to $1,885.5 an ounce.

* On the TSX, 130 issues were higher, while 83 issues declined for a 1.57-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with 33.74 million shares traded.

* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Cascades Inc, which jumped 6.4% after RBC raised price target to C$18 from C$17, and Boralex Inc, which rose 3.8%.

* Silvercorp Metals Inc fell 8.5%, the most on the TSX. The second biggest decliner was Fortuna Silver Mines Inc , down 8.0%.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Zenabis Global Inc, Nevada Copper Corp and Riocan RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust.

* The TSX posted 13 new 52-week highs and no new lows.

* Across all Canadian issues, there were 146 new 52-week highs and 7 new lows, with total volume of 76.59 million shares. (Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)