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CANADA STOCKS-TSX rises on strong economic growth data

March 31 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Wednesday after data showed that the economy grew at a faster-than-expected pace in January, but gains were capped by declines in energy stocks as oil prices fell on concerns over fuel demand recovery.

* At 14:44 a.m. ET (13:44 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 41.46 points, or 0.22%, at 18,747.02.

* Canada’s economy expanded for a ninth consecutive month in January and most likely grew in February, Statistics Canada said, further evidence that a recovery from the coronavirus pandemic was stronger than expected.

* Discount store chain Dollarama Inc rose 3.75% after reporting a 3.6% rise in quarterly sales as customers spent more on groceries and other household essentials during the COVID-19 pandemic.

* The energy sector dropped 0.5% as U.S. crude prices were down 0.5% a barrel, while Brent crude lost 0.7%.

* The financials sector slipped 0.2%, while the industrials sector rose 0.6%.

* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.5%.

* On the TSX, 142 issues were higher, while 78 issues declined for a 1.82-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with 20.82 million shares traded.

* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Lithium Americas Corp, which jumped 8.4%, and Hudbay Minerals , which rose 6.3% after RBC raised its rating to “outperform” from “sector perform”.

* BlackBerry Ltd fell 9.7%, the most on the TSX, after fourth-quarter revenue miss.

* The second biggest decliner was Brookfield Asset Management, down 1.7%.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Bombardier Inc, Power Corporation of Canada and Bank of Nova Scotia.

* The TSX posted 4 new 52-week highs and no new lows.

* Across all Canadian issues there were 18 new 52-week highs and 4 new lows, with total volume of 39.29 million shares. (Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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