July 15 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index opened higher on Wednesday as data showed a 10.7% jump in May factory sales, suggesting a pickup in economic activity following coronavirus lockdowns.
* At 9:42 a.m. ET (13:42 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 145.52 points, or 0.91%, at 16,053.97.
* Canada's central bank maintained its benchmark interest rate at 0.25%, and said it will hold rates there until the economic impact of the pandemic is absorbed, while warning that growth will not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2022.
* The Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. counterpart as investors grew more optimistic about a coronavirus vaccine and domestic data showed a rebound in factory sales.
* Cornerstone Capital Resources Inc CGP.V said on Wednesday it intends to urge SolGold SOLG.L shareholders to replace the company's entire board, a day after rejecting the London-listed miner's takeover offer for the second time.
* The energy sector .SPTTEN climbed 2.7% as U.S. crude CLc1 prices were up 0.6% a barrel, while Brent crude LCOc1 added 0.5%. O/R
* The financials sector .SPTTFS gained 1.8%. The industrials sector .GSPTTIN rose 1.1%.
* The materials sector .GSPTTMT, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 1.1% as gold futures GCc1 fell 0.3% to $1,806.1 an ounce. GOL/
* On the TSX, 172 issues were higher, while 49 issues declined for a 3.51-to-1 ratio favouring gainers, with 21.05 million shares traded.
* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Air Canada AC.TO, which jumped 5.0% and Genworth MI Canada Inc MIC.TO, which rose 4.9%.
* Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd WDO.TO fell 3.2%, the most on the TSX. The second-biggest decliner was Kinross Gold Corp K.TO, down 3.0%.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Karora Resources Inc KRR.TO, up 1.6%; Air Canada AC.TO, up 5.0% and Cenovus Energy Inc CVE.TO, up 4.8%.
* The TSX posted three new 52-week highs and no new low.
* Across all Canadian issues there were 19 new 52-week highs and three new lows, with total volume of 41.57 million shares.
(Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)
((Shivani.Kumaresan@thomsonreuters.com ; +1 646 223 8780))
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