CANADA STOCKS-TSX gains on strong hopes of economic recovery

(Updates prices, adds sector details)

April 7 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Wednesday on prospects of a stronger global economic growth, but contraction in trade surplus limited further gains.

Canada’s trade surplus with the world narrowed in February to C$1.04 billion ($824 million) from C$1.21 billion surplus in January as a global shortage of semiconductor chips hit both imports and exports, Statistics Canada said.

However, Canadian M&A activity in the first three months of the year catapulted to an all-time high as dealmaking recovered from the coronavirus fallout, and bankers point to a healthy pipeline of transactions underpinned by easy financing conditions.

* At 9:39 a.m. ET (13:39 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 24.53 points, or 0.13%, at 19,128.67.

* The energy sector dropped 0.2% as U.S. crude prices were down 0.4% a barrel, while Brent crude lost 0.3%.

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

* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.6% as gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,737.1 an ounce.

* On the TSX, 112 issues were higher, while 109 issues declined for a 1.03-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with 15.21 million shares traded.

* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Blackberry Ltd, which jumped 3.5%, and Gildan Activewear, which rose 3.2%.

* Cascades Inc fell 6.3%, the most on the TSX, while the second biggest decliner was Exchange Income Corp , down 4.1%.

* The most heavily-traded shares by volume were Bombardier , Bank of Nova Scotia and Toronto-Dominion Bank.

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

* Across all Canadian issues, there were 79 new 52-week highs and one new low, with total volume of 31.58 million shares. (Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Krishna Chandra Eluri)