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TSX Ends Higher For 3rd Straight Day

The Canadian stock market ended higher on Thursday, extending its gains to a third successive session as higher oil prices, upbeat economic data and slightly fading worries about trade war lifted sentiment.

The latest batch of upbeat economic data offset trade concerns after U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order declaring a national emergency with respect to the threats against information and communications technology and services.

Information technology and industrials shares were the most prominent gainers. Energy, consumer staples, consumer discretionary, telecommunications and real estate shares too found good support.

Financial, materials and healthcare stocks ended mixed.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 125.72 points, or 0.77%, at 16,443.86. The index scaled a low of 16,349.70 and a high of 16,461.94 in the session.

On Wednesday, the TSX ended up 33.61 points, or 0.21%, at 16,318.14, after gaining 0.56% a day earlier.

On the economic front, data released by Statistics Canada showed manufacturing sales increased 2.1% to $58.0 billion in March, boosted by the transportation equipment, petroleum and coal product, and primary metal industries.

Economists had expected a 1.1% increase for the month, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon. The report said overall manufacturing sales rose 1.6% in volume terms.

Another report from Statistics Canada said foreign investors reduced their holdings of Canadian securities by $1.5 billion in March, the first divestment in three months. Meanwhile, Canadian investment in foreign securities totaled $1.5 billion, led by purchases of U.S. corporate bonds

According to ADP, Canada added 61,700 jobs in April, the second straight month of robust jobs gains, led by hiring in the education and health services and construction sectors, according to ADP.

Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) shares jumped 7.5%, with the counter clocking a volume of over 12.87 million shares.

Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO), Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO), Air Canada (AC.TO) and SNC Lavalin Group (SNC.TO) were among the other prominent movers in the industrial space.

Among financial stocks, Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) and Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) gained 0.6% and 0.7%, respectively. Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC.TO) also ended with solid gains.

Energy stocks Encana Corporation (ECA.TO), Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO), Suncor Energy (SU.TO), Birchcliff Energy (BIR.TO), Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO) and TC Energy Corporation (TRP.TO) closed with strong gains.

In the materials space, First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) gained about 3.75%. IAM Gold Corporation (IMG.TO) gained 9.4%, while Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX.TO) declined by about 2.3%.

Shares of agricultural greenhouse facilities operator Village Farms International Inc. (VFF.TO) gained nearly 5%, with investors cheering the passage of Hemp Bill by Texas Senate. The passage of the bill into law, when it happens, will establish a Texas Hemp Program, providing a regulatory and licensing framework for the cultivation and processing of hemp, as well as for products made from hemp, including cannabidiol (CBD).

U.S. stocks ended on a firm note, buoyed by a batch of upbeat economic data and strong results from Wallmart and Cisco Systems.

The Dow climbed 0.8%, the jumped 1% and the S&P 500 ended higher by 0.9%.

Data from the Labor Department said initial jobless claims slid to 212,000, a decrease of 16,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 228,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 220,000.

A report from the Commerce Department showed housing starts surged up by 5.7% in April and building permits rose by 0.6%.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve also released a report a significant acceleration in the pace of growth in regional manufacturing activity in May.

European markets ended on a high note. Among the major markets in Europe, the U.K. ended 0.8% up, while Germany and France closed stronger by 1.7% and 1.4%, respectively.

Asian markets turned in a mixed performance on Thursday.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended up $0.85, or 1.4%, at $62.87 a barrel, amid rising concerns over an escalation in tensions in the Middle East.

Gold futures for June ended down $11.60, or 0.9%, at $1,286.20 an ounce.

Silver futures for July ended down $0.273, at $14.539 an ounce, while Copper futures for July settled at $2.7480 per pound, gaining $0.0050 for the session.

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