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Canadian Market Holding Gains After Firm Start

After a steady start, the Canadian stock market edged higher and was up firmly entrenched in positive territory in late morning trades Tuesday, led by gains in energy, mining and financial shares.

A positive trend across Asia and Europe after China announced fresh stimulus to support its economy, set up a firm start for the U.S. and Canadian markets this morning. Higher crude oil prices supported as well.

Investors largely shrugged off U.S. President Donald Trump's threat that he will slap fresh tariffs on Chinese goods if his counterpart Xi Jinping doesn't turn up for the upcoming G20 summit.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index was up 67.58 points, or 0.43%, at 16,283.84.

Among energy shares, MEG Energy (MEG.TO), Encana Corp. (ECA.TO), Enerplus Corp. (ERF.TO), Parex Resources (PXT.TO), Prairiesky Royalty (PXT.TO), Canadian Natural Gas (CNQ.TO) and Tourmaline Oil Corp. (TOU.TO) gained 1 to 3%.

In the materials space, Canfor Corp. (CFP.TO) climbed up over 6%. The company announced that it is curtailing operations at all of its British Columbia sawmills, except its WynnWood operations, due to poor lumber markets. The company said a majority of the millls will be curtailed for two weeks or the equivalent, with extended curtailments at select locations.

Teck Resources (TECK.B.TO), First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO), Interfor Corp. (IFP.TO), Hudbay Minerals (HBM.TO), West Fraser Timber (WFT.TO), Ero Copper (ERO.TO), Labrador Iron Ore (LIF.TO), Lundin Mining (LUN.TO) and Methanex Corp. (MX.TO) were up 2 to 5.3%.

Among the stocks in the Financial index, CDN Western Bank (CWB.TO) rose 3.75%, Onex Corp. (ONEX.TO) climbed nearly 2% and Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH.TO) was up 1.3%. Manulife Financial (MFC.TO), Laurentian Bank (LB.TO) and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) were modestly higher.

Cannabis shares Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO), Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) and Green Organic Dutchman Holdings (TGOD.TO) were down 2.5 to 3.7%.

U.S. stocks were holding in positive territory despite paring some early gains. The market was up amid optimism about a potential interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve in the near future.

Data from the Labor Department showed producer price index for the final demand inched up by 0.2% in May after rising by 0.2% in April. The uptick was in line with economist estimates.

Meanwhile, the annual rate of growth in producer prices slowed to 1.8% from 2.2% in April, coming below estimates for an increase of 2%.

The major European markets ended notably higher and markets across the Asia-Pacific region too closed on a firm note.

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