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TSX Ends Weak Despite Some Late Buying

The Canadian stock market opened with a negative gap on Wednesday and stayed weak till around mid afternoon. And then, despite briefly emerging into positive territory thanks to a smart rally, it faltered and ended the session in the red.

A sharp drop in crude oil prices and rising worries about U.S.-China trade dispute and its impact on the global economy rendered the mood bearish today.

The Canadian benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 21.52 points, or 0.13%, at 16,227.24. The index, which dropped to a low of 16,199.93 around mid morning, touched a high of 16,253.25 in late afternoon trades.

Energy and financial shares drifted lower. Shares from materials, information technology, telecommunications, industrials and consumer staples sections found support. Healthcare stocks recovered after exhibiting weakness early on in the session.

Among energy stocks, Precision Drilling Corp. (PD.TO) tumbled nearly 7.5%. Encana Corp. (ECA.TO) declined 6.6%. Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO), Parex Resources (PXT.TO), Tourmaline Oil Corp. (TOU.TO), Vermilion Energy (VET.TO), Enerplus Corp. (ERF.TO) and ARC Resources (ARX.TO) also declined sharply. Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO), PrairieSky Royalty (PSK.TO) and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) also ended notably lower.

In the Financial index, CDN Western Bank (CWB.TO) declined 2.3%, Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) shed 1.9% and Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO) ended lower by 1.8%.

Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO), Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) lost 0.5 to 1%.

In the materials section, Cascades Inc. (CAS.TO) soared more than 13%, Canfor Corp. (CFP.TO) gained 7.7%, West Fraser Timber (WFT.TO) rallied 5.2% and Interfor Corp. (IFP.TO) advanced 5.1%.

Norbord Inc. (OSB.TO), Ssr Mining (SSRM.TO), Kirkland Lake Gold (KL.TO), Torex Gold Resources (TXG.TO), Yamana Gold Inc. (YRI.TO), B2Gold Corp. (BTO.TO), Pretium Resources (PVG.TO) and Kinross Gold (K.TO) gained 2 to 4.1%.

Pan American Silver Corp. (PAAS.TO), Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX.TO), Semafo (SMF.TO), Detour Gold (DGC.TO), Iamgold Corp. (IMG.TO) and Nutrien (NTR.TO) also ended with solid gains.

Information technology stock BlackBerry (BB.TO) gained 6.2%. Quarterhill Inc. (QTRH.TO), Shopify Inc. (SHOP.TO) and Open Text Corp. (OTEX.TO) gained 2.1%, 1.6% and 1.1%, respectively.

In the healthcare space, Knight Therapeutics (GUD.TO) gained nearly 4%. Extendicare (EXE.TO) ended 1.3% up.

Hexo Corp. (HEXO.TO) declined nearly 3%. Bausch Health Companies (BHC.TO) and Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) ended lower by 1.7% and 1.2%, respectively.

U.S. stocks ended modestly lower after turning in a relatively lackluster performance as traders weighed lingering trade concerns against optimism about an interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

The Dow and the S&P 500 both ended lower by 0.2%, while the Nasdaq closed lower by 0.4%.

Markets in Europe and across the Asia-Pacific region closed weak on Wednesday due to rising worries about the impact of U.S.-China trade conflict on the global economy.

In commodities, oil prices tumbled after data from Energy Information Administration showed another jump in U.S. crude stockpiles.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July ended down $2.13, or about 4%, at $51.14 a barrel, the lowest settlement price since mid January, 2019.

Gold futures for August ended up $5.60, or 0.4%, at $1,336.80 an ounce.

Silver futures for July ended up $0.013 at $14.753 an ounce, while Copper futures for July settled at $2.6540 per pound, down $0.0175 from previous close.

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