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Canadian Market Pares Some Early Gains; Energy, Healthcare Shares Shine

The Canadian stock market opened on a bright note Wednesday morning, riding on gains in energy and healthcare shares, but pared some gains as the session progressed as the mood turned a bit cautious amid uncertainty about U.S.-China trade negotiations and Brexit.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index, which rose to a high of 16,212.56 in early trades, is up 28.73 points, or 0.18%, at 16,165.39.

On Tuesday, the index ended up 30.42 points, or 0.19%, at 16,136.66.

The Capped Energy Index is up nearly 1.5%. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) is gaining 2%, Encana Corporation (ECA.TO) is up 1.5%, Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) is rising 1.75%, Tourmaline Oil Corp. (TOU.TO) is moving up 2.7%, Husky Energy (HSE.TO) is up 1.7%, PrairieSky Royalty (PSK.TO) is advancing 1.4% and Parex Resources (PXT.TO) is adding about 1.1%.

Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) is up 1.2%, Baytex Energy Corp. (BTE.TO) is gaining 2.5%, Painted Pony Energy (PONY.TO) is rising 2.8% and MEG Energy Corp. (MEG.TO) is up 1%.

Frontera Energy Corporation (FEC.TO) shares are up 2.3%. The company announced that it acquired 12,181,000 rights to acquire common shares of CGX Energy Inc. on Tuesday. The aggregate purchase price for the Rights was C$60,905 (or C$0.005 per Right).

In the materials space, B2Gold Corp. (BTO.TO) is down 1.6%. B2Gold Corp. The company reported adjusted net income of $14 million ($0.01 per share) for the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to adjusted net income of $6 million ($0.01 per share) in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Alacer Gold Corp. (ASR.TO) is declining 3.7% and Goldcorp Inc. (G.TO) is lower by 0.8%

The Capped Healthcare Index is up 2.1%. Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB.TO) is soaring nearly 10%, reacting to the announcement from the company that it has appointed Nelson Peltz as a Strategic Advisor. Mr. Peltz and Aurora will work collaboratively and strategically to explore potential partnerships that would be the optimal strategic fit for successful entry into each of Aurora's contemplated market segments, the company said. Peltz will also advise on the Company's global expansion strategy.

Hexo Corp. (HEXO.TO) is gaining more than 4%, Green Organic Dutchman Holdings (TGOD.TO) is rising 1.2%, Bausch Health Companies (BHC.TO) is up 1%, Chartwell Retirement Residences (CSH.UN) is up 0.8% and Sienna Senior Living Inc. (SIA.TO) is up 0.5%.

In the banking space, Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) is up marginally and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) is down by about 0.5%.

U.S. stocks are up in positive territory after data from the Commerce Department showed an unexpected increase in durable goods orders in the month of January.

A separate report from the Labor Department showed a modest increase in producer prices in the month of February. The report said producer price index for final demand inched up by 0.1% in February after edging down by 0.1% in January. Economists had expected prices to rise by 0.2%.

European markets were moving higher after struggling early on in the session. The mood is cautious with investors looking ahead to the vote on a no-deal Brexit.

Asian markets ended mostly lower on Wednesday after British Prime Minister Theresa May lost voting on her second Brexit proposal in a parliamentary showdown on Tuesday.

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