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TSX Pares Early Gains; Cannabis Shares In Demand

The Canadian stock market is flat Tuesday mid morning amid cautious moves after advancing to a five-month high in early trades on mixed global cues.

Cannabis shares are in demand. Materials shares are up, tracking higher gold prices. Industrial, energy, and consumer staples stocks are mixed. Bank and information technology stocks are mostly subdued.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, which dropped to 16,099.62 after advancing to 16,148.67 in early trades, recovered to 16,123.06, gaining 16.82 points, or 0.1%.

The Capped Healthcare Index is rising more than 2.5%. Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) is gaining 3.75%, Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) is up 2.7%, Cronos Group (CRON.TO) is climbing 3.5% and Hexo Corp. (HEXO.TO) is advancing 1.7%, while Green Organic Dutchman Holdings (TGOD.TO) and Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) are modestly higher.

Among materials shares, Teck Resources (TECK.B.TO) is gaining 1.1%, Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) is rising 1.6%, First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) is advancing 1.4%, Kirkland Lake Gold (KL.TO) is up 1.35% and Goldcorp Inc. (G.TO) is jumping 3.3%.

Kinross Gold Corporation (K.TO) and Yamana Gold Inc. (YRI.TO) are also up with strong gains.

Among energy shares, Encana Corporation (ECA.TO) is gaining 3%, Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) is up 1%, Tourmaline Oil Corp. (TOU.TO) is rising 1.8% and Parex Resources (PXT.TO) is moving up 2.3%.

Among bank stocks, Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) is declining more than 1%, Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) are down 0.4 to 0.5%, while Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) are down marginally.

The U.S. market is modestly higher following the release of tame inflation data, which suggests the Federal Reserve will continue to refrain from raising interest rates in the near future.

After reporting no change in consumer prices over the past few months, the Labor Department released a report showing a modest increase in consumer prices in the month of February.

The Labor Department said its consumer price index rose by 0.2% in February after coming in unchanged for three straight months. The uptick in consumer prices matched economist estimates.

European markets are mixed in cautious trade ahead of the vote on revised Brexit deal.

Asian markets ended higher on Monday, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street on strong retail sales data.

In commodities, crude oil futures for April are gaining $0.51, or 0.9%, at $57.30 a barrel.

Gold futures for April are up $7.00, or 0.54%, at $1,298.10 an ounce.

Silver futures for May are gaining $0.121, or 0.79%, at $15.395 an ounce, while Copper futures for May are rising $0.0375, or 1.29%, at 2.9385 per pound.

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