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Canadian Market Remains Positive On Results, Trade Talks Hopes

The Canadian stock market has retreated a bit after a bright start Friday morning, but remains in positive territory thanks to strong gains in energy and healthcare sectors.

Higher crude oil prices, optimism over U.S.-China trade talks and strong results from major U.S. lenders JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo, and a few other top notch companies set up a higher opening for the market.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is up 59.08 points, or 0.36%, at 16,458.55, after recording a new high of 16,487.14 for 2019.

In the energy section, Encana Corporation (ECA.TO) is rising nearly 3%, Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO), Tourmaline Oil Corp. (TOU.TO) and Vermilion Energy (VET.TO) are up 1.3 to 2%.

Baytex Energy (BTE.TO), Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO), Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO), Athabasca Oil Corporation (ATH.TO), MEG Energy Corp. (MEG.TO) and Tamarack Valley Energy (TVE.TO) are up 1.5 to 4%.

Hudbay Minerals (HBM.TO) is up more than 5%. Teck Resources (TECK.B.TO) is gaining 1.8%. Goldcorp (G.TO) and Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX.TO) are also up with solid gains.

In the healthcare space, Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) is rising more than 5.5%. The stock is the first one from the cannabis industry to be included in the S&P/TSX 60 index. The addition will be effective from April 18. The stock replaces Goldcorp (G.TO) in the index.

Cronos Group (CRON.TO) is gaining 3.4%, Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) is advancing 1.7%, Hexo Group (HEXO.TO) is up 1.2% and Green Organic Dutchman Holdings (TGOD.TO) is rising nearly 3%.

Among bank stocks, Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO) and National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) are up 0.4 to 0.8%.

U.S. stocks are trading higher this morning, buoyed by better-than-expected results from JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

Markets across Europe are also faring well, with earnings optimism and trade deal hopes aiding sentiment. Asian markets ended mixed.

In commodities, crude oil futures for May are up $0.73, or 1.15%, at $64.31 a barrel.

Gold futures for June are up $2.70, or 0.21%, at $1,296.00 an ounce.

Silver futures for May are rising $0.128, or 0.86%, at 14.995 an ounce, while Copper futures for May are up $0.0510, or 1.78%, at $2.9380 per pound.

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