Canada's main stock index gained on Monday as energy stocks were lifted by higher oil prices, but worries over the growing number of deaths due to the coronavirus limited gains.
* The death toll from COVID-19 surpassed half a million people on Sunday, according to a Reuters tally, a grim milestone for the global pandemic that seems to be resurgent in some countries even as other regions are still grappling with the first wave.* The energy sector climbed 0.5%, helped by gains in oil prices.
* At 9:45 a.m. ET (13:45 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 12.44 points, or 0.08%, at 15,201.42.
* Domestic data showed that producer prices in Canada rose by 1.2% in May from April on higher prices for meat, fish, and dairy products, as well as energy and petroleum products.
* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.2% as gold futures rose 0.2% to $1,777.2 an ounce.
* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Ballard Power Systems Inc, which jumped 7.1%, and Transcontinental Inc, which rose 2.1%.
* On the TSX, 109 issues were higher, while 107 issues declined for a 1.02-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with 19.50 million shares traded.
* Aurora Cannabis Inc fell 3.9%, the most on the TSX, after its co-founder Terry Booth retired from his role as director. The second biggest decliner was Lightspeed POS Inc , down 3.3%.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Bank of Nova Scotia, Freegold Ventures Limited and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
* The TSX posted three new 52-week highs and no new low.
* Across all Canadian issues there were 16 new 52-week highs and four new lows, with total volume of 39.34 million shares.
(Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)