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TSX Ends On Firm Note

The Canadian stock market shrugged off a weak start and moved higher to close on a firm note on Tuesday, led by gains in energy shares.

The mood was a bit cautious right through the session as investors awaited the testimony of the Federal Reserve Chairman before the U.S. Congress for clues about outlook for interest rates.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended with a gain of 82.26 points, or 0.5%, at 16,545.21, the day's high. In early trades, the index dropped to a low of 16,421.66.

Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) moved up 3.2%. Suncor Energy (SU.TO) gained 2.6% and MEG Energy Corp. (MEG.TO) ended nearly 2% up.

Imperial Oil (IMO.TO) and Cenovus Energy (CVE.TO) both ended stronger by about 1.8%. Parex Resources (PXT.TO) advanced 1.2%, while Husky Energy (HSE.TO) gained nearly 1%. TC Energy Corporation (TRP.TO) and Enbridge Inc. (ENB.TO) also closed with strong gains.

Information technology stocks BlackBerry (BB.TO), Open Text Corporation (OTEX.TO), Photon Control (PHO.TO) and CGI Group (GIB.A.TO) gained 1.6 to 2.4%.

In the financial space, Manulife Financial (MFC.TO) gained 1.65%. Onex Corp. (ONEX.TO) climbed up 1.3%. National Bank of Canada (NA.TO), Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH.TO), Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO) and Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) gained 0.5 to 1.1%. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO) shed 0.75%.

CannTrust Holdings (TRST.TO) plunged 5.4%, extending recent losses. A Denmark-based medical cannabis company said Tuesday that it had received a number of batches of pot from CannTrust and after investigating, found that one was from part of the unlicensed CannTrust grow.

First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO), one of the most prominent losers in the mining space today, shed as much as 6.5%. Lundin Mining Corporation (LUN.TO) declined 3.2%.

On the economic front, data released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. showed Canadian housing starts rose to the highest level in more than a year in June. The data said housing starts were up an annualized 245,657 units in June, an increase of 25% from downwardly revised 196,800 units in May, and topping expectations for an increase of 210,000 units.

Another data said the value of building permits in Canada fell 13% to C$8.2 billion in May 2019, from an upwardly revised 16% gain in the previous month. Market had expected the value of building permits to fall 2.5% in May.

U.S. stock ended mixed as traders largely seemed reluctant to make significant moves ahead of Congressional testimony by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

The Dow edged down by 0.1%, while the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 ended higher by 0.5% and 0.1%, respectively.

Stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower. European markets too ended mostly in negative territory.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended up $0.17, or 0.3%, at $57.83 a barrel.

Gold futures for August ended up $0.50, or about 0.4%, at $1,400.50 an ounce, recovering from the day's low of $1,387.50.

Silver futures for September ended up $0.097, at $15.147 an ounce, while Copper futures for September settled lower by $0.0340, at $2.6250 per pound.

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