(Updates prices, adds details of Bank of Canada’s rate decision)
March 10 (Reuters) – Energy companies led gains on Canada’s main stock index on Wednesday, boosted by higher oil prices, as the Bank of Canada held borrowing costs steady at its interest rate meeting.
* The Bank of Canada said it now expects positive GDP growth in the first quarter of 2021, rather than the contraction it forecast in January.
* At 10:54 a.m. ET (15:54 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 53.11 points, or 0.29%, at 18,652.3. The index hit a record high in the previous session.
* The energy sector climbed 1.7% as crude prices were supported by an upbeat forecast for global economic recovery and OPEC+ oil output curbs as well as a sharp reduction in U.S. fuel inventories.
* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were oil producer Vermilion Energy Inc, which jumped 9%, and food retailer Empire Company Limited, which rose 8.1%.
* On the TSX, 125 issues were higher, while 88 issues declined for a 1.42-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with 69.71 million shares traded.
* E-commerce platform Shopify Inc fell 3.2%, the most on the TSX, and the second biggest decliner was miner MAG Silver Corp, down 3.2%.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Hydro One Ltd, Rogers Communications Inc, and Trican Well Service Ltd.
* The TSX posted 19 new 52-week highs and no new low.
* Across all Canadian issues there were 127 new 52-week highs and three new lows, with total volume of 152.39 million shares.
Reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Amy Caren Daniel