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TSX Recovers After Sharp Fall, Ends Flat

After a weak start and a subsequent recovery, the Canadian stock market tumbled but regained most of the lost ground and eventually ended slightly weak on Thursday.

The mood was a bit bearish right through the session as worries about global growth resurfaced after the European Union lowered its forecast for Euro area growth in 2019 and 2020.

Crude oil's sharp decline amid demand growth concerns and uncertainty about a U.S.-China trade deal ahead of March 1 deadline also weighed on the market.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 8.95 points, or 0.06%, at 15,703.36, after scaling a low of 15,588.66 and a high of 15,726.53 intraday.

On Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 9.62 points, or 0.06%, at 15,712.31.

The Capped Energy Index declined 2.35%. Encana Corporation (ECA.TO) plunged 5.8%, Husky Energy (HSE.TO) and ARC Resources (ARX.TO) both ended lower by about 4%.

Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO), Vermilion Energy (VET.TO) PrairieSky Royalty (PSK.TO) and Tourmaline Oil Corp. (TOU.TO) lost 1 to 3%. Tourmaline Oil Corp. (TOU.TO) ended 1.2% down.

The Capped Consumer Staples Index declined 0.73%. The Star Group (TSGI.TO) ended lower by 4.1%, Magna International (MG.TO) lost 2.8%, The Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (GC.TO) shed nearly 2%, BRP Inc. (DOO.TO) ended 1.7% down and Gildan Activewear Inc. (GIL.TO) shed 1.08%.

The Capped Healthcare Index added 1.5%. Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) ended 1.6% up. The company announced that it plans to increase its total investment in Canopy Rivers Inc. (RIV) by CDN$30 million.

Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) gained 3.2%, Cronos Group (CRON.TO) jumped 9.5% and Hexo Corp. (HEXO.TO) advanced 3.3%.

Among bank stocks, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) declined 1.2% and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) shed 1.15%, while the rest ended flat.

BCE Inc. (BCE.TO) reported adjusted net earnings of $794 milion and EPS of $0.89 for the fourth quarter, up 7.9% and 8.5%, respectively, compared to year-ago quarter. The stock edged down marginally.

Optiva Inc. (OPT.TO) shares gained 1.5% after the company reported net income of $0.5 million for the first quarter of 2019, as compared to net loss of $64.5 million in the year-ago quarter.

Great-West Lifeco Inc. (GWO.TO) shares added 3.3% after the company reported net earnings of $710 million or $0.72 per common share for the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to $392 million or $0.40 per common share for the same quarter last year.

The U.S. market ended notably lower despite stocks settling well off the day's lows. The Dow and S&P 500 both ended lower by 0.9%, while the Nasdaq shed 1.2%.

A Report from CNBC that U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are "highly unlikely" to meet before a March 2nd deadline triggered fairly heavy selling in the market.

European markets declined. Among the major markets in Europe, Germany plunged sharply, with its benchmark DAX declining 2.52%. France's CAC 40 and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 ended lower by 1.6% and 1%, respectively. Switzerland's SMI shed 1.17%.

Asian markets ended mixed on Thursday.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March ended down $1.37, or 2.5%, at $52.64 a barrel, the lowest settlement in more than a week.

Gold futures for April ended down $0.20, at $1,314.20 an ounce, after moving in a tight range.

Silver futures for March ended up $0.012, at $15.713 an ounce. Copper futures for March settled at $2.8285 per pound, down $0.0080 from previous close.

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