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TSX Ends Higher Again On Trade Talks Optimism

The Canadian stock market ended on a firm note on Tuesday, extending gains from recent sessions, amid rising optimism about some positive outcome from high level U.S.-China trade discussions in Beijing, and on rising crude oil prices.

After a buoyant start, the market retreated but stayed in positive territory, and moved higher again after buying gathered momentum in afternoon trades.

Gains in technology shares led the market higher. Materials, consumer discretionary, consumer staples, industrials and financial shares too fared well, while energy shares were sluggish.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 101.02 points, or 0.70%, at 14,605.15, after scaling a low of 14,533.89 and a high of 14,645.61.

On Monday, the index ended up 77.51 points, or 0.54%, at 14,504.13.

The Capped Information Technology Index gained 1.39%. CGI Group Inc. (GIB.A.TO) moved up nearly 2%, Open Text Corporation (OTEX.TO) rose 2.8%, Descartes Systems Group Inc. (DSG.TO) advanced by 2.5%, Kinaxis Inc. (KXS.TO) jumped nearly 5% and Enghouse Systems (ENGH.TO) gained 1.2%.

Among bank stocks, Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) gained 0.7% and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) ended 0.9% up.

In the materials space, Nutrien (NTR.TO) gained 2.9%, Teck Resources (TECK.B.TO) ended more than 4% up, CCL Industries Inc. (CCL.B.TO) moved up 2.1%, Kirkland Lake Gold (KL.TO) surged up nearly 4% and First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) climbed up 8.4%, while Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX.TO) declined more than 5%.

New Gold Inc. (NGD.TO) surged up nearly 12% after reporting a strong fourth quarter at both Rainy River and New Afton mines.

Lucara Diamond Corp. (LUC.TO) declined sharply after the company announced that it expects its 2019 revenue to be between $170 million and $200 million. The company is also predicting an annual dividend of Canadian $0.10 per share, to be paid quarterly.

Among energy shares, Imperial Oil (IMO.TO), Cenovus Energy Inc. (CVE.TO), Husky Energy (HSE.TO) and Encana Corporation (ECA.TO) gained 1 to 2.2%.

Vermilion Energy (VET.TO) declined 2.7%, PrairieSky Royalty (PSK.TO) ended 4.3% down and Seven Generations Energy (VII.TO) eased by 1.7%.

In consumer discretionary section, Dollarama Inc. (DOL.TO) gained 5.2%, Canada Goose Holdings Inc. (GOOS.TO) added 2.5%, Magna International (MG.TO) surged up 2.3% and Gildan Activewear Inc. (GIL.TO) ended 1.1% up.

Among industrials, Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) gained 1.7% and CAE Inc. (CAE.TO) added 1.6%, while Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) ended 3.1% down.

Among the stocks in the Healthcare Index, Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) declined more than 4.4% on huge volumes. Hexo Corp. (HEXO.TO) ended nearly 3% down and Aphria (APHA.TO) shed 1.6%.

Maxar Technologies Inc. (MAXR.TO) shares plunged nearly 25% after the company reported that its WorldView-4 satellite experienced a failure in its control moment gyros, preventing the satellite from collecting imagery due to the loss of an axis of stability.

On the economic front, a report from Statistics Canada this morning showed that the Canadian trade deficit widened to C$2.1 billion in November, from C$851 million in October. Economists had expected a deficit of C$1.95 billion.

On Wall Street, stocks ended higher, extending gains to a third straight session, on optimism about trade talks between the U.S. and China. The second day of negotiations coincided with an unannounced visit by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with some analysts saying China could use Kim's visit as a bargaining chip in the trade talks.

In a post on Twitter this morning, President Donald Trump claimed, "Talks with China are going very well!"

Meanwhile, Trump is scheduled to deliver a national address on what his administration has described as a "crisis" on the southern border.

Asian markets turned in a mixed performance on Tuesday, while the major European markets all moved to the upside. While the French CAC 40 Index jumped by 1.2%, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index climbed by 0.7% and 0.5%, respectively.

In commodities, crude oil futures for February ended up $1.26, or 2.6%, at $49.78 a barrel, gaining for a seventh successive session.

Gold futures for February ended down $4.00, or 0.3%, at $1,285.90 an ounce. Silver futures for March ended at $15.713 an ounce, down $0.043 from previous close, while Copper futures for March settled at $2.656 per pound, up $0.019 from yesterday's close.

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