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TSX Ends Higher Again

Despite suffering a setback after a positive start and spending much of the session in the red, the Canadian stock market managed to end slightly higher on Thursday, extending gains for a third straight day.

Trade tensions eased slightly on hopes the U.S. administration will delay imposing tariffs on Mexico in order to negotiate immigration issues.

On the U.S.-China trade front, Trump's tweet that he will hold off on tariffs on additional $300 billion plus worth of Chinese goods until after the G20 summit helped ease tensions a bit.

Energy stocks found support after crude oil prices rebounded after plunging to their lowest levels since mid January.

Gold retained its safe haven appeal and edged higher for a seventh straight day amid lingering concerns about international trade disputes.

Healthcare, consumer discretionary and consumer staples shares closed weak, while financial, industrial and mining shares ended on a mixed note.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 15.14 points, or 0.09%, at 16,227.80. The index touched a low of 16,175.12 and a high of 16,241.58 in the session.

In Canadian economic news, data from Statistics Canada said exports were up 1.3% in April, while imports decreased 1.4%. Canada's merchandise trade deficit with the world narrowed from $2.3 billion in March to $966 million in April.

A report from Western University's IVEY School of Business said its purchasing managers' index rang in at 55.9 in May, identical to April's reading, but way below the 62.9 figure shown in May 2018.

Information technology stocks Descartes Systems (DSG.TO) and Kinaxis (KXS.TO) gained 2.5% and 1.8%, respectively. Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO) advanced 1.35%, Open Text Corporation (OTEX.TO) gained 1.2% and Enghouse Systems (ENGH.TO) ended 1% up.

Among energy stocks, Encana Corporation (ECA.TO), Precision Drilling Corporation (PD.TO), Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO), Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) and Vermilion Energy (VET.TO) gained 1 to 1.8%.

In the materials space, Torex Gold Resources (TXG.TO), Lundin Mining Corp. (LUN.TO), First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO), Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX.TO), Hudbay Minerals (HBM.TO), B2Gold Corp. (BTO.TO) and Alamos Gold Inc. (AGI.TO) ended higher by 1 to 2.3%.

Industrial stock Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B.TO) and consumer staples share Saputo (SAP.TO) were among the prominent losers.

The U.S. market ended higher with stocks showing a notable advance later in the trading day. The Dow gained 0.7%, the Nasdaq advanced 0.5% and the S&P 500 ended up 0.6%.

Reports about a likely delay in tariffs on Mexico aided sentiment. The mood was a bit cautious at times with investors looking ahead to the monthly jobs data, due on Friday.

Asian and European markets turned in a mixed performance on Thursday.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July ended up $0.91, or 1.8%, at $52.59 a barrel.

Gold futures for August ended up $9.10, or about 0.7%, at $1,342.70 an ounce, off the day's high of $1,344.20.

Silver futures for July ended up $0.114, at $14.905 an ounce, while Copper futures for July settled at $2.6505 per pound, gaining $0.0275 for the session.

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