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TSX Ends Modestly Higher

The Canadian stock market shrugged off a weak start and ended modestly higher on Friday, extending its winning run to a sixth session, even as European and U.S. markets exhibited weakness amid concerns about global growth, Brexit uncertainty and trade tensions.

The market moved higher, led by gains in healthcare stocks. A few stocks from consumer discretionary, real estate, telecommunications and consumer staples sections posted notable gains.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 35.69 points, or 0.24%, at 14,939.18 after scaling a low of 14,855.15 and a high of 14,956.20 intraday.

On Thursday, the index ended up 98.76 points, or 0.67%, at 14,903.49.

The Capped Healthcare Index gained more than 3%. Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) ended nearly 2% up, Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB.TO) jumped 7.5%, Cronos Group Inc. (CRON.TO) gained 4.8%, Extendicare Inc. (EXE.TO) surged up 2.6%.

Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) gained 5.4% after the company reported net revenue of $21.7 million for the second quarter of financial year 2019, up 0.63% from previous quarter.

Shares of consumer discretionary companies Restaurant Brands International Inc. (QSR.TO) and BRP Inc. (DOO.TO) gained 2.4% and 2.7%, respectively.

Consumer staples shares Metro Inc. (MRU.TO), Loblaw Companies (L.TO), George Weston (WN.TO) and Cott Corporation (BCB.TO) gained 1.3 to 2.3%.

In the banking space, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) gained 0.9%, Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), National Bank of Canada and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) ended with modest gains, while Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) ended little changed.

Information technology shares Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO), BlackBerry (BB.TO) and Celestica Inc. (CLS.TO) gained 0.9 to 1.2%, while Sierra Wireless Inc. (SW.TO) ended 2.7% up.

Energy stocks Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), Encana Corporation (ECA.TO), Vermilion Energy Inc. (VET.TO) and ARC Resources (ARX.TO) gained 0.8 to 2.4%.

Among the stocks in the materials space, Barrick Gold (BB.TO), Franco - Nevada Corporation and First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) ended notably higher.

Corus Entertainment Inc. (CJR.B.TO) jumped 5.8% after the company reported adjuster net income of $70.1 million for the quarter ended November 2018, as compared to net income of $78.9 million a year ago.

BayTex Energy (BTE.TO) and Kinross Gold Corporation (K.TO) moved up sharply on strong volumes.

On Wall Street, stocks recovered after early weakness , but still closed slightly lower. Profit taking and concerns about government shutdown, skepticism about a potential trade deal between the U.S. and China weighed on the market.

European markets ended mostly lower with political uncertainty in the U.S., Brexit concerns and trade worries prompting investors to refrain from making big moves.

Earlier, optimism about trade talks, and expectations that the Federal Reserve will pause its rate hiking cycle this year drove up stock prices in U.K.

In commodities, crude oil futures ended down $1.00, or 1.9%, at $51.59 a barrel.

Gold futures for February ended up $2.10, or 0.2%, at $1,289.50 an ounce. For the week, gold futures gained 0.3%.

Silver futures for March settled at $15.656 an ounce, down $0.013 from Thursday's close, while Copper futures for March ended at $2.662 for the session, gaining $0.025 for the session.

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