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Canadian Shares Down In Cautious Trade

Canadian shares drifted lower Monday morning weighed down by lingering concerns about global slowdown and fading hopes for any steep interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve this month.

Energy shares found some support after crude oil prices recovered from a weak opening this morning. Gold's retreat triggered some strong selling in the materials space. Shares from healthcare, telecommunications, financial and industrials sections traded weak.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index was down 65.20 points, or 0.39%, at 16,476.79.

On Friday, the index ended down 46.86 points, or 0.28%, at 16,541.99, after being down nearly 120 points at 16,469.92 at one stage.

Shares of CannTrust Holdings Inc plunged more than 22% after the company said that Health Canada has ruled that the company's greenhouse facility in Pelham, Ontario, is not in compliance with certain regulations and warned of temporary product shortages.

The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings (TGOD.TO), Hexo Corp. (HEXO.TO), Aphria Inc. (APHA.TO), Cronos Group (CRON.TO) and Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) shed 1.8 to 2%. Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) declined nearly 1%.

Telecommunications shares Rogers Communications (RCB.B.TO) and BCE Inc. (BCE.TO) lost 1.3% and 1%, respectively. Shaw Communications (SJR.B.TO) and Telus Corp. (T.TO) posted modest losses.

Among miners, Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO), Ssr Mining (SSRM.TO), Methanex Corp. (MX.TO), Iamgold Corp. (IMG.TO), Nutrien (NTR.TO), First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) and Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM.TO) lost 1 to 2.6%.

In the energy section, Encana Corp. (ECA.TO) moved up 1.3% after the company announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Newfield Exploration Mid-Continent Inc., signed an agreement to sell its natural gas assets in Oklahoma's Arkoma Basin to an undisclosed buyer for $165 million in cash.

Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) climbed up 2.3%. Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) was up 0.6%.

Meanwhile, Enerflex (EFX.TO), Canadian Natural Gas (CNQ.TO), Husky Energy (HSE.TO) and Pason Systems (PSI.TO) lost 0.7 to 1.3%. ARC Resources (ARX.TO), Parex Resources (PXT.TO) and PrairieSky Royalty (PSK.TO) were also weak.

Among financial stocks, Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH.TO) shed 1.2%. CDN Western Bank (CWB.TO), Manulife Financial (MFC.TO), Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO) and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) lost 0.4 to 1.2%.

U.S. stocks moved mostly lower in morning trading on Monday amid waning optimism about a near-term interest rate cut following last Friday's much better than expected jobs data.

CME Group's FedWatch Tool still points to a rate cut at the next Federal Reserve meeting later this month, although expectations have dramatically shifted toward a 25 basis point cut rather than a 50 basis point cut.

European markets were mostly lower and markets across the Asia-Pacific region too exhibited weakness on Monday.

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