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CANADA STOCKS-TSX inches higher on energy boost

Sept 14 (Reuters) - Canada’s energy-heavy main stock index edged higher on Tuesday on a jump in crude prices, while data showing a slowdown in U.S. consumer price increases calmed fears of a sooner-than-expected tapering by the Federal Reserve.

At 9:48 a.m. ET (13:48 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 11.81 points, or 0.06%, at 20,678.22.

The energy sector gained 0.4% as oil prices hit a six-week high, a day after posting its best daily performance in nearly three months.

The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 0.4% due to weakness in prices of the precious metal.

Data from the U.S. Labor Department showed underlying consumer prices rose at their slowest pace in six months in August, suggesting that inflation had probably peaked. July’s reading had also shown a slight slowdown in the pace of price rise.

“The miss gives the Federal Reserve the ability to be patient with asset purchase tapering and instead focus on a continued labor market recovery,” said Brandon Michael, senior market analyst at ABC Funds.

“This should support common stocks as the Fed is likely to remain extraordinary accommodative.”

Worries around a slowdown in the post-pandemic economic recovery and concerns about a rise in global COVID-19 cases have capped gains on Toronto’s main index in September after seven months of gains.

The S&P 500, the benchmark U.S. stock index, rose 0.3% on Tuesday.

Investors mostly shrugged off data showing a drop in Canadian manufacturing sales in July.

HIGHLIGHTS

* Nuvei Corp and Lithium Americas Corp were the largest percentage gainers on the TSX.

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

* Across all Canadian issues there were 23 new 52-week highs and four5 new lows, with total volume of 46.80 million shares. (Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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