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TSX Ends Weak After Volatile Session

The Canadian stock market ended lower on Tuesday, after a somewhat volatile session, amid slight concerns about U.S.-China trade deal after reports said the Chinese government is pushing back against American demands.

A Bloomberg report said Chinese officials have shifted their stance due to a lack of assurances from the Trump administration that tariffs on Chinese exports will be lifted.

However, an earlier report from Dow Jones that said trade talks between the two countries were in the final stages helped limit market's losses. The report said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin set to fly to Beijing next week.

Investors also reacted to the Canadian budget and were mostly treading cautiously as they looked ahead to the U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement, due on Wednesday.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 63.27 points, or 0.39%, at 16,188.10, after scaling a high of 16,275.31 and a low of 16,188.10 in the session.

Energy, information technology, industrials and consumer staples shares declined.

Healthcare and consumer discretionary stocks found support, while materials and financials shares ended mixed.

The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings (TGOD.TO) jumped nearly 7.5%, Hexo Corp. (HEXO.TO) gained 3.25% and CannTrust Holdings (TRST.TO) ended stronger by 2.7%. Aleafia Health Inc. (ALEF.TO) ended 5.8% up.

Energy stocks Baytex Energy (BTE.TO), Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO), Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) and Encana Corporation (ECA.TO) ended notably lower.

Largo Resources (LGO.TO), Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX.TO) and Village Farms International (VFF.TO) were among the other notable losers today.

The Canadian budget predicted a deficit of $19.8 billion for 2019-20, including Ottawa's $3-billion risk adjustment, compared with the $19.6-billion deficit predicted in the government's fall economic update despite billions in new income tax and excise tax revenue.

The budget plan includes new spending on a wide range of new items aimed at skills training, seniors and first-time homebuyers.

"We're going to work hard to build an economy that works for everyone, where every person has a real and fair chance at success," Finance Minister Bill Morneau said as he unveiled the budget.

"And we're going to make these investments to grow our economy for the long term, while we bring the books back towards balance," he said.

U.S. stocks ended nearly flat, failing to hold early gains. Markets in Europe ended higher, while Asian stocks closed weak, with investors looking ahead to the policy statements from the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of England.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended down $0.06, or 0.1%, at $59.03 a barrel.

Gold futures for April settled up $5.00, or 0.4%, at $1,306.50 an ounce.

Silver futures for May ended up $0.050, at $15.372 an ounce, while Copper futures for May $0.0140, at $2.9230 per pound.

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