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TSX Ends Marginally Up After Choppy Session

Canadian stocks swung back and forth on Thursday, as investors largely stayed wary of building up positions amid lingering worries about trade and geopolitical tensions.

A rebound in crude oil prices triggered some hectic buying in the energy space early on in the session, but several stocks from this space failed to sustain at higher levels.

Consumer discretionary shares had a pretty good outing. The Capped Consumer Discretionary Index surged up nearly 2.5%. Materials shares found fairly good support.

Real estate, financial, industrial and technology stocks turned in a mixed performance. Healthcare and telecom shares declined sharply.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended up 12.02 points, or 0.07%, at 16,239.26. The index scaled a high of 16,267.06 and a low of 16,213.28 in the session.

Canada new home prices were unchanged in April of 2019 for a third consecutive month, and in line with market expectations. Year-on-year, new home prices went up 0.1%, the same pace as in the prior month.

Consumer discretionary stock Dollarama Inc. (DOL.TO) jumped 11.3% on results. The company reported net earnings of $103.5 million, or $0.33 per diluted common share, in the first quarter of Fiscal 2020, compared to $101.5 million, or $0.31 per diluted common share, in the first quarter of Fiscal 2019.

Canada Goose Holdings (GOOS.TO) gained more than 5%. Aritzia Inc. (ATZ.TO), Martinrea International (MRE.TO). Gildan Activewear (GIL.TO), Linamar Corporation (LNR.TO), Great Gaming Corporation (GC.TO) and Magna International (MG.TO) moved up by 1.4 to 3%.

In the energy space, MEG Energy (MEG.TO) soared 12.3%. The company announced today that Grant Billing, Ian Bruce, and Judy Fairburn are proposed as nominees for election to the Board of Directors at the corporation's Annual and Special Meeting of Shareholders on June 13th, 2019. These three have a wealth of oil and gas experience at both the Board and executive levels, the company said.

Baytex Energy (BTE.TO), Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO), Torc Oil & Gas (TOG.TO), Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO) and Encana Corporation (ECA.TO) gained 3 to 6%.

Among materials shares, Alacer Gold Corp. (ASR.TO) jumped more than 10%. Canfor Corp. (CFP.TO), Novagold Reserves (NG.TO), Iamgold Corp. (IMG.TO), MAG Silver Corp. (MAG.TO), Oceanagold Corp. (OGC.TO), Alamos Gold (AGI.TO) and Detour Gold (DGC.TO) gained 3 to 5%.

In the Healthcare Index, Hexo Corp. (HEXO.TO) declined 8.4%. CannTrust Holdings (TRST.TO) lost 4.1%, Cronos Group (CRON.TO) ended nearly 4% down and Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO) shed 3.75%, while Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) and Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) both ended lower by 2.3%.

U.S. stocks ended higher amid continued optimism tame inflation will lead the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates. A report from the Labor Department showed bigger than expected decreases in U.S. import and export prices.

a separate report from the Labor Department said first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly edged higher in the week ended June 8th.

European markets closed higher, while markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July ended up $1.14, or 2.2%, at $52.28 a barrel, after hitting a high of $53.45 a barrel in the session, after reports about attack on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman suggested a likely fall in crude supply in the international market.

Gold futures for August ended up $6.90, or about 0.5%, at $1,343.70 an ounce.

Silver futures for July ended up $0.139, at $14.892 an ounce, while Copper futures for July settled with a gain of $0.0025, at $2.6565 per pound.

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