(Updates prices, adds details and sectors)
April 21 (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index rose on Wednesday as a raft of upbeat corporate earnings lifted investor sentiment and expectations of a swift economic recovery, though lower oil prices capped further gains.
* At 9:50 a.m. ET (1350 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite Index was up 47.51 points, or 0.25%, at 19,087.41.
* Rogers Communications Inc gained 2.3% after the Canadian telecoms operator trumped first-quarter revenue estimates, buoyed by strong demand in its cable unit that provides internet and cloud-based services.
* Aiding sentiment, food retailer Metro Inc also beat analyst expectations at 62 cents per share, while revenue rose 5.1% to $3.33 billion from a year ago when analysts had expected $3.31 billion.
* Meanwhile, the Bank of Canada sharply hiked its outlook for the economy and said it expected slack to be absorbed in the second half of 2022, suggesting rates could rise sooner than the previous forecast of sometime in 2023.
* Canada’s annual inflation rate doubled to 2.2% in March, mainly due to a statistical difference caused by last year’s sharp deceleration during the pandemic and rising energy prices, Statistics Canada said on Wednesday.
* The energy sector dropped 0.1% as U.S. crude prices were down 2.1% a barrel, while Brent crude lost 1.8%.
* The financials sector gained 0.1% while the industrials sector edged 0.3% higher.
* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.5% as gold futures rose 0.5% to $1,785.7 an ounce.
* On the TSX, 152 issues were higher, while 64 issues declined for a 2.38-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with 15.39 million shares traded.
* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Rogers Communications and Gildan Activewear, which advanced 2.2% each.
* West Fraser Timber Ord fell 3.9%, the most on the TSX, while the second-biggest decliner was Ballard Power , down 3.0%.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Royal Bank of Canada, Tetra Bio-Pharma and Zenabis Global Inc.
* The TSX posted 23 new 52-week highs and no new lows.
* Across all Canadian issues there were 62 new 52-week highs and no new lows, with total volume of 28.56 million shares. (Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)