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TSX Ends Marginally Down After Choppy Session

Canadian stocks ended lower on Monday after swinging between gains and losses right through the session, with investors weighing news on the trade front and reacting to the latest batch of Canadian economic data as well for direction.

Healthcare stocks had a good session. The Capped Healthcare Index surged up 3.2%. Consumer discretionary and information technology stocks moved up. Financial and consumer staples shares ended mixed.

Weak commodity prices hurt energy and mining stocks, although losses in these two sectors were somewhat less pronounced.

The Canadian benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 14.70 points, or 0.09%, at 16,216.26, after swinging between 16,201.61 and 16,262.16.

Cronos Group Inc. (CRON.TO) gained about 9.2%. Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) and Canopy Growth Corp. (WEED.TO) ended stronger by 3.85% and 3.5%, respectively. Hexo Corp. (HEXO.TO) gained nearly 3% and Extendicare (EXE.TO) advanced 2.6%.

Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO), CannTrust Holdings (TRST.TO), Bausch Health Companies (BHC.TO) and Sienna Senior Living (SIA.TO) also closed on a positive note.

In the consumer discretionary space, Hudson's Bay Company (HBC.TO) shares zoomed over 42% after the company announced that a Special Committee of independent directors will review the June 10, 2019 proposal from a group of HBC shareholders for the privatization of the Company at a price of C$9.45 per share, payable in cash.

HBC also announced that it has entered into definitive agreements to sell the company's remaining stake in its German real estate joint venture, and divest its related retail joint venture to its partner, SIGNA, for a total consideration of $1.5 billion.

BRP Inc. (BRP.TO), Linamar Corp. (LNR.TO), MTY Food Group (MTY.TO), Magna International (MG.TO) and Great Canadian Gaming Corp. (GC.TO) gained 1.4% - 3.5%.

Enghouse Systems Group (ENGH.TO), up nearly 5.5%, was the top mover in the technology space. Quarterhill (QTRH.TO), Constellation Software (CSU.TO) and Kinaxis Inc. (KXS.TO) also ended sharply higher.

In the energy space, ARC Resources (ARX.TO), Enerplus Corp. (ERF.TO), Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO), Tourmaline Oil Corp. (TOU.TO), Enerflex (EFX.TO) and Precision Drilling (PD.TO) lost 2 to 4.3%.

Among materials shares, Pan American Silver (PAAS.TO), Yamana Gold (YRI.TO), Oceanagold Corp. (OGC.TO), MAG Silver Corp. (MAG.TO), B2Gold Corp. (BTO.TO), Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) and Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM.TO) lost 2 to 4.5%.

In economic news, data released this morning showed the seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts in Canada fell to 202,337 units in May 2019 from a downwardly revised 233,410 in April, missing market expectations of 205,000.

Meanwhile, Canadian municipalities issued a record CAD 9.3 billion worth of building permits in April 2019, up 14.7% from the previous month. Markets had expected an increase of just 1.3%. The increase in the value of permits was almost entirely due to a planned change in development costs in Metro Vancouver, the report showed.

U.S. stocks ended on a firm note despite settling off the day's highs. The Dow and the S&P 500, both hit their best closing levels in a month, gaining 0.3% and 0.5%, respectively. The Nasdaq surged up 1.1%.

Stocks moved thanks to a positive reaction to news about the U.S. and Mexico reaching an agreement to avert President Donald Trump's threatened tariffs on all Mexican imports.

U.S. President Donald Trump revealed in a post on Twitter late Friday that the 5% tariff he threatened to impose on Mexican imports beginning today has been "indefinitely suspended."

The suspension of the tariff threat comes as the two countries signed a deal Trump claims will help stop the flow of migrants through Mexico and into the U.S.

European stocks were heading to a positive close. Markets across Asia ended on a fairly bright note on Monday.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July ended down $0.73, or 1.4%, at $53.26 a barrel.

Gold futures for August ended down $16.80, or 1.3%, at $1,329.30 an ounce, snapping an 8-day winning streak.

Silver futures for July ended down $0.392, at $14.639 an ounce, while Copper futures for July ended up $0.0340, at $2.6615 per pound.

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