(Update prices, add sectors)
July 21 (Reuters) – The main Canadian stock index extended its gains on Wednesday, after rising the most in nearly two months in the previous session as energy stocks benefited from rising oil prices.
* The energy sector climbed 1.8% as US crude prices rose 2.5% per barrel, while Brent crude rose 2.3%.
* At 9:40 a.m. ET (1:40 p.m. GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S & P / TSX Composite Index was up 125.16 points, or 0.63%, to 20,067.87.
* Great-West Lifeco Inc (Lifeco) rose 1.26% after the insurer announced that its U.S. unit would buy the full-service retirement business of Prudential Financial Inc for approximately C $ 4.45 billion ( $ 3.51 billion) in one of its biggest deals to date.
* The financial sector gained 1%. The industrial sector increased by 0.5%.
* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metal miners and fertilizer companies, added 0.3% as gold futures fell 0.2% to $ 1,807 the ounce.
* On the TSX, 182 issues were up, while 46 issues fell for a ratio of 3.96 to 1 in favor of winners, with 10.94 million shares traded.
* The biggest percentage gainers on the TSX were Vermilion Energy Inc, which jumped 3.4% after JPMorgan raised the price target for shares of the oil producer, and miner Lithium Americas Corp, which increased by 3.2%.
* Medical marijuana company OrganiGram Holdings Inc fell 1.2%, the highest on the TSX, and the second biggest decline was gold miner Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd, down 1.1%.
* The most traded shares by volume were Bombardier Inc and Baytex Energy Co.
* The TSX posted no new 52-week highs and no new lows.
* For all Canadian issues, there were 18 new 52-week highs and 11 new lows, with total volume of 23.62 million shares.
(Reporting by Amal S in Bangalore; Editing by Aditya Soni)