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Canadian Market Modestly Higher; Energy, Healthcare Shares Rally

The Canadian stock market is modestly higher Tuesday morning, tracking positive cues from European and U.S. markets, where shares are surging higher on easing worries about another U.S. shutdown and optimism about trade talks.

Higher crude oil prices too contribute to the fairly buoyant mood in the market.

Easing concerns about another shutdown after negotiations between Congressional members resulted in a tentative agreement on border security, and optimism about upcoming high level U.S.-China trade talks set up the stage for a positive opening in the U.S. and Canadian markets.

Energy stocks are moving higher. Healthcare stocks are up, recovering from recent losses. Financial and industrials shares are also finding support.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is up 41.41 points, or 0.27%, at 15,610.26, after advancing to a high of 15,622.26.

On Monday, the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 64.48 points, or 0.41%, at 15,568.85.

The Capped Energy Index is rising 1.2%. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO), Tourmaline Oil Corp. (TOU.TO) and Husky Energy (HSE.TO) are gaining 2 to 2.5%, ARC Resources (ARX.TO) is up 1.6% and Encana Corporation (ECA.TO) is advancing by about 1%.

The Capped Financial Index is up 0.7%. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) is gaining 1%, Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) is adding 0.8% and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) is rising 1.2%. National Bank of Canada (NA.TO), Royal Bank of Canda (RY.TO) and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) are up 0.3 to 0.5%.

Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC.TO) is advancing 1.2%, Sun Life Financial Services (SLF.TO) is gaining 0.6% and Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH.TO) is up nearly 1%.

The Capped Healthcare Index is up 2.3%. Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) is gaining 3%, Cronos Group (CRON.TO) is rising 4%, Hexo Corp. (HEXO.TO) is up 4.2%, Green Organic Dutchman Holdings (TGOD.TO) is gaining 3.5% and Aphria Inc (APHA.TO) is soaring 8%.

Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) is gaining 2.35%. Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB.TO) reported net revenue of $54.2 million for the second quarter ended December 2018, up 83% sequentially, and up 363% compared to the same period in the previous year. However, the company posted net loss of $237.7 million for the quarter, as compared to net profit of $7.7 million in the year-ago quarter.

Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX.TO) and Goldcorp Inc. (G.TO) are down 1% and 1.7%, respectively. Yamana Gold (YRI.TO) is declining 3% and Kinross Gold Corporation (K.TO) is down 3.7%.

SEMAFO Inc. (SMF.TO) and Savary Gold Corp. (SCA.TSXV) announced that they have entered into a non-binding letter of intent contemplating the acquisition by SEMAFO of all of the outstanding common shares of Savary not already owned by SEMAFO. Semafo Inc shares are down marginally.

ADF GROUP INC. (DRX.TO) shares are gaining nearly 6% after the company announced it has bagged a series of new contracts worth a total of $73 million, in the recreational and commercial sectors in Western USA.

DHX Media Ltd. (DHX.TO) is plunging nearly 16% after reporting second quarter net loss of $17.9 million, or $0.13 per share, as compared to net income of $7.4 million, or $0.06 per share, in the year-ago quarter.

In commodities, crude oil futures for March are gaining $0.85, or 1.66%, at $53.26 a barrel.

Gold futures for April are up $1.30, or 0.1%, at $1,313.20 an ounce.

Silver futures for March are down marginally at $15.670 an ounce, while Copper futures for March are down $0.025, or 0.9%, at $2.765 per pound.

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