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Canadian Stocks Slightly Weak In Lackluster Trade

After edging up marginally in early trades, the Canadian stock market retreated and was exhibiting some weakness around late morning, with investors looking for direction and largely staying on the sidelines.

Healthcare, mining and energy shares were weak. A few stocks from utilities, consumer discretionary and industrials sections attracted buyers, while financial and information technology shares were mostly subdued.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index was down 19.10 points, or 0.11%, at 16,544.19.

On Wednesday, the index ended up 18.08 points, or 0.11%, at 16,563.29, after scaling a high of 16,641.79 and a low of 16,527.14 in the session.

CannTrust Holdings Inc. (TRST.TO) shares extended recent weakness and plunged more than 7% after StenoCare, a Danish cannabis company, said that it would quarantine more batches of cannabis oil from CannTrust, which allegedly sold products from some unlicensed facilities.

Bausch Health Companies (BHC.TO) declined nearly 4% and Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) shed about 1.3%.

Meanwhile, Cronos Group (CRON.TO) gained 3.4% and Hexo Corp. (HEXO.TO) advanced 1.2%. Extendicare Inc. (EXE.TO) and Aurora Cannabis (ACB.TO) were up with modest gains.

In the materials space, Methanex Corp. (MX.TO) declined about 4.3%, Interfor Corp. (IFP.TO) shed 2.8% and Ivanhoe Mines (IVN.TO) was down 2.6%. Yamana Gold (YRI.TO), Torex Gold Resources (TXG.TO), Teck Resources (TECK.B.TO) and Nutrien (NTR.TO) were down 1 to 1.4%.

New Gold (NGD.TO), Kirkland Lake Gold (KL.TO), SSR Mining (SSRM.TO), Novagold (NG.TO) and Hudbay Minerals (HBM.TO) were up in positive territory with notable gains.

Among energy shares, Enerplus Corp. (ERF.TO), Precision Drilling (PD.TO), Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) and Crescent Point Energy (CPG.TO) were down 1 to 2.3%.

In economic news, new home prices in Canada dropped 0.1% in May of 2019, after staying unchanged for three consecutive months and against market expectations of a 0.1% rise.

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